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Full text of "The independent film & video monthly"

The New York Video Festival 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 




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January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 5 



Media 

News 





Media Arts 
Madness 



In the most devastating hlo<w ever to the 

media arts field's infrastructure, the 

JSfEA eliminates regrants and slashes its 

TsAedia Arts Program budget 



MEA chair Jane Alexander 
devastated the country's 
media arts community last 
October when she announc- 
ed the agency was suspend- 
ing seven categories within 
its Media Arts, Music, and 
Presenting &. Commission- 
ing programs. Individual 
media artists and small arts 
organizations were at the eye of the storm, since 
their primary link to the NEA is through various 
regrant programs — such as the American Film 
Institute's Independent Film and Videomaker 
Program (IFVP) and the National Alliance for 
Media Arts and Culture's Media Arts Fund — 
which have been eliminated indefinitely. 

While the NEA's rationale for suspending the 
programs is described as budgetary, both the field 
and First Amendment advocates have attributed 
other possible motives. 

One such motive is politics. Arthur J. Kropp, 
president of People for the American Way, a 
Washington, DC-based organization that advo- 
cates for First Amendment rights, states, "The 
targeting of these cuts looks clearly political and is 
surely not even-handed." Jill Bond, also of People 
For, adds that "The administration is quick to 
cave in on anything that appears to be a political 
loss. The NEA is throwing a bone to the critics on 
the Hill." Many media artists also believe the cuts 
were politically motivated. 

In a post-announcement letter to Alexander, 
for example, filmmaker Gregg Araki (The Living 
End, Totally F***ed Up) says he wants to give her 
and the present administration more credit, "but I 
can't help conclude that it is film's ability to pro- 
voke, stir up, to make trouble (ie: the controversy 
surrounding the work of Todd Haynes, Marlon 
Riggs, etc.) that has influenced your decision." 

While most in the field were aware of the con- 
troversy surrounding the arts in Congress, many 
were shocked at the NEA's internal decision to 



eliminate an entire tier of sup- 
port for artists with- 
out any 




($355,000). In addition, cuts to other programs 
such as the Artist Projects Regional 
Initiatives ($250,000), which support 
interdisciplinary projects, also may 
impact directly or indirectly on the 
media arts community. 

"All of us involved in the arts are 
being threatened by forces out of our 
control," says the NEA's deputy of 
programs Susan Clampett in 
response to the cuts. When asked 
why the Media Arts budget took 
such a disproportionate hit, she 
points fingers at 
legislators 
involved in 
m o v i n 
money 
around 
within 

**** J h e 

% 



goes against 
what the NEA stands 
for — creation, production, and dissemination of 
art," says Judy Golub, executive director of the 
American Arts Alliance. "Most unfortunate is the 
'unequal pain' this decision has caused the arts 
community. The program side has taken a lot of 
hits." 

Just how bad are the cuts? For fiscal year 1995, 
Congress lopped off two percent (or $2.9 million) 
of the NEA's total budget, which now stands at 
$167.7 million. The elimination of the regranting 
programs represents $1.6 million or more than 
half of the total budget cut. 

Four of the regrant programs suspended, with 
funds totaling close to $1.2 million, were in the 
Media Arts Program: Regional Fellowships 
($315,000); the American Film Institute/ 
Independent Film and Videomaker Program 
($350,000); the National Alliance for Media Arts 
and Culture/Media Arts Fund ($170,000); and 
the American Film Institute/National Endow- 
ment for the Arts Film Preservation Program 




endowment during 
the budgeting process. Brian O'Doherty, 
director of the Media Arts Program, observes that 
"The program has made an effort to put resources 
out there, closer to the community.... When the 
subgrants were decreased, we were by virtue of 
that fact, more vulnerable." 

Regional Fellowships: The NEA's Regional 
Fellowships, awarded to a geographically diverse 



6 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



bDITED BY MICHELE bHAPIRO 



mix of new and established media artists, were 
offered through regional media arts centers, 
including Appalshop (Whiteshurg, KY), 
Northwest Film Center (Portland, OR), Center 
for New Television (Chicago, 




For emerging filmmakers, NEA subgrants — which Jane Alexander announced in October 
would be suspended indefinitely — have been a primary source of funding to get new 
projects off the ground. One category, Regional Fellowships, averaging $4,395 each and 
administered by media arts centers, have fueled projects including (clockwise from left) 
Richard Linklater's Slacker, Mark Kitchell's Berkeley in the Sixties-, Michael Moore's 
Roger & Me; and Arthur Dong's Forbidden City. 

Courtesy filmmaker {Slacker); photo: Jeffrey Blankfort, courtesy P.O. V. {Berkeley); 
photo: Dirck Halstead, courtesy Warner Bros. {Roger & Me); courtesy DeepFocus 
Productions {Forbidden City). 



IL), the now-defunct Film in the Cities 
(Minneapolis, MN), SWAMP (Houston, Texas), 
and Pittsburgh Filmmakers (Pittsburgh, PA). 
Between 1981 and 1991, the NEA contributed 
over $4.5 million to the program, and 1,028 grants 
were awarded, with an average grant size of 
$4,395. 

Gordon Quinn, execu- 
tive producer of the 
acclaimed documentary 
Hoop Dreams, says their 
project may have been 
scrapped without funds 
received from a Regional 
Fellowship. A $5,000 
award from the NEA, 
administered through the 
Center for New Television in 
1989, allowed the producers 
to get the production off the 
ground. "It was very little 
money, but it attracted other 
money down the road. We were 
two years into the project 
before we got funding from 
CPB." Quinn adds, "If we are 
going to have a diverse society, 
we need diverse sources of fund- 
ing. NEA support is an important 
part of the mix." 

Another maker, Les Blank, 
who received a $5,000 Regional 
Fellowship for his film Gap Toothed 
Women, which aired on the Dis- 
covery Channel, echoes Quinn's 
sentiments. "Eliminating the fellow- 
ships is disastrous," he says. "It's like 
yanking out the life preserver." Blank 
received his fellowship through the 
Northwest Film Center, and subse- 
quently garnered a $20,000 grant 
from the American Film 
Institute/IFVR 

Twenty-four state arts agen- 
cies contributed to the Regional 
Fellowship Program as well as the 
Jerome Foundation in St. Paul 
and the LEF Foundation in 
Boston. The Jerome Foun- 
dation, which had 
matched the NEA's 
$45,000 with between 
$82,000 and $86,000 
each year in the mid- 
west, took over admin- 
istering the fellowships 
after Film in the Cities 
closed its doors last 
year. The foundation's 
president, Cynthia 
Gehrig, says she was 



not consulted by the NEA about its decision to 
pull out of the program. "I share most of the 
constituency's sense of anger and sadness," she 
says. "This will not, however, affect Jerome's com- 
mitment to support individual media artists." 
Gehrig adds that her board will most likely con- 
tinue regional fellowships, but will limit eligibility 
to Minnesota artists. 

Richard Gage of the Illinois Arts Council and a 
member of the media arts affinity group within the 
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies 
(NASAA), says state arts agency staffers want to 
find a way to collaborate on funding with regional 
arts organizations. But, as he points out, "This was 
the first year that media arts was even recognized 
on our conference agenda. Realistically, I don't 
know how effective we can be in terms of a sys- 
tematic response." 

AFI'S Independent Film and Videomaker 
Program: Cuts to AFI's Independent Film and 
Videomaker Program (IFVP) may prove equally 
devastating to individual media artists across the 
country. Since 1968, the program has awarded 
more than $6 million to approximately 600 artists 
in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the var- 
ious trust territories. The IFVP grant program was 
one of the first sources of public funding for film 
artists in the nation's history and was used to fund 
experimental and narrative projects, as well as 
documentaries. Several of the program's anima- 
tion and documentary projects, including Barbara 
Trent's The Panama Deception, Joan Gratz's Mona 
Lisa Descending a Staircase, and Barbara Kopple's 
Harlan County, U.S.A., have garnered Academy 
Awards. Other artists who have received grants, 
ranging in size from $10,000 to $20,000, include 
Christine Choy, Gregg Araki, Julie Dash, Hollis 
Frampton, Leslie Harris, Barbara Kopple, Trinh T 
Minh-ha, Mira Nair, Marlon Riggs, and Gus Van 
Sant. 

For Leslie Harris, director of ]ust Another Girl 
on the 1RT, "NEA funds simply made the differ- 
ence between doing the film or not doing the 
film," she says. "A young Black woman coming of 
age in Brooklyn is a subject too risky for the stu- 
dios." 

The Media Arts Fund and the NEA/AFI Film 
Preservation Program:The Media Arts Fund, 
administered by the National Alliance for Media 
Arts and Culture (NAM AC), is regranted annual- 
ly to organizations to promote the growth and sta- 
bilization of the media arts field. In particular, it 
was designed to support those new or smaller pro- 
jects and organizations that might be overshad- 
owed during the NEA's peer panel review sessions 
by larger organizations with national profiles. 
Since 1991, NAMAC has distributed $842,000 to 
over 200 organizations in 33 states, including the 
Spokane Art School, South Florida Black Film 
Festival, and the Native American Producers 



January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 7 




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Alliance. According to Julian Low, NAMAC's 
national director, "The regrant programs have 
broadened the reach of the NEA and accom- 
plished the endowment's goals, including support- 
ing cultural diversity and bringing the arts to more 
people." Margaret Caples, NAMAC co-president 
and executive director of Community Film 
Workshop in Chicago, says, "The abolition of the 
Media Arts Fund guarantees the demise of small- 
er media organizations, especially organizations of 
color." 

Absorbing the remainder of the NEA's cuts, 
The NEA/AFI Film Preservation Program has 
supported the major archives in America in their 
nitrate and acetate conversion programs. Since 
the program began 27 years ago, more than $9.5 
million has been granted to archives, including the 
Museum of Modern Art, the George Eastman 
House, and the UCLA Film and Television 
Archive. 

Balancing a Fragile Arts Ecology 

Since Alexander's announcement in late October, 
the field has strategized on how to impress upon 
the Endowment just how crucial the cuts are to 
individual media artists and arts organizations. 
Both The Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers (AIVF) and the AFI met directly with 
Alexander to voice their concerns. NAMAC orga- 
nized communication among the regional centers 
distributing grants and the endowment. The field 
is also encouraging letter writing campaigns and 
Op Ed pieces in local newspapers. 

At a gathering of Boston filmmakers held at the 
Newton Television Foundation in late October, 
which was cosponsored by the AIVF, 150 atten- 
dees sent a letter signed by all to the Endowment, 
and at a pot luck gathering of makers at PIFVA in 
Philadelphia days later, members decided to put 
together a compilation tape about awards that 
regional fellows' projects have supported. In addi- 
tion AIVF, NAMAC, AFI, and the National 
Association of Artists' Organizations (NAAO) 
have requested that the NEA maintain an ongo- 
ing dialogue to explore the most effective and effi- 
cient ways for the arts community to resolve bud- 
getary and political challenges. 

As Ruby Lerner, executive director of AIVF, 
explained to Alexander, "A fragile 'arts ecology' 
exists between artists, artists' organizations, and 
more mainstream conservative arts organizations. 
The cuts have definitely disturbed this ecology." 
The regrant programs, a lifeline to artists and 
small organizations, Lerner adds, are the very pro- 
grams that ensure the future of the arts in 
America. "They have truly been a model of the 
public-private partnership the agency touts. And 
perhaps, most important, these regrant programs 
have been case studies of cultural democracy in 
action. Not the rhetoric of cultural democracy, but 
the reality." 



During the National Council meeting on 
November 4, at which the budgets for each of the 
NEA's program categories were presented for the 
coming fiscal year, news was not good for media 
artists: The NEA announced a Media Arts 
Program program budget of $9.5 million for FY 
1995; down from $10.3 million in FY 1994. 
Within this budget, $1 million has been allocated 
tor the Film/Video Production category, an 
increase of $367,000 from FY 1994. However, the 
Media Arts Centers/National Services allocation 
was slightly reduced. Subsequently, the endow- 
ment will offer one or two once-in-a-lifetime 
$100,000 National Endowment for the Arts 
Moving Image Production grants in FY 1996. The 
grants are for productions by established film and 
video artists whose artistry and contributions to 
the field are widely recognized, according to NEA 
materials. 

For those not yet "established" artists, the 
NEA's O'Doherty says applicants who previously 
applied to the regrant programs may apply direct- 
ly to the Media Arts Program for grants in FY 
1996. Media Arts guidelines have been revised so 
panels will have the flexibility to recommend 
grants in amounts smaller than the previous mini- 
mum of $10,000. 

Although sources present at the Council meet- 
ing in November say Alexander pledged to restore 
money to the Media Arts Program in the FY 1996 
budget, how she will do so has yet to be deter- 
mined. 

No Time Like the Present 

"The issue now is where do we go from here?" says 
AIVF's Lerner. "I think we must convince the 
NEA of the impact that small grants can have on 
the life of a project and that there is a value in a 
regional distribution system." While Lerner does- 
n't foresee the return of the regrant programs in 
their current form, she stresses that the field must 
help the NEA create structures that achieve the 
same ends. 

Those concerned about the cuts and program 
changes should write to: Jane Alexander, Chair, 
National Endowment for the Arts, 1100 
Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W, Washington, DC 
20506, and should send a copy to their congres- 
sional representatives. Any individual or organiza- 
tion who has received a grant should communi- 
cate the impact it had. If the work won awards, 
was broadcast or exhibited, it would be helpful to 
include this information. 

Mary Esbjornson 

Mary Esbjornson is vice president for Advocacy on the 
National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture's Board 
of Directors and is on the Governing Cowxcil of Media 
Democracy in Action, a national consortium represent- 
ing independent, minority, and community media service 
organizations and individuals. 




Little Shop of Horrors: The window of Cincinnati's Pink 
Pyramid bookstore, where employees were nailed by 
undercover officers for renting a Pasolini tape. 

Courtesy Pink Pyramid Bookstore 



GncinnatTs 
Morality Squad 
Targets Pasolini 

Pedestrians in Cincinnati tend to obey Don't Walk 
signs, even at night, when no car is approaching. 

A Chanukah menorah on the city square at the 
same time as city Christmas decorations? It took a 
federal judge to clear the way. A Ku Klux Klan 
cross to join the menorah? Only with the same 
judge's intervention. 

Nude dancing? Go across the river to Northern 
Kentucky. X-rated videos? Rent them elsewhere 
and bring them home. Play girl or Penthouse? 
They're there, just not handily displayed. 

These are manifestations of Cincinnati civility; 
some things just aren't done. Much of this is nat- 
ural to a community where even the poor are con- 
servative. 

When it comes to pornography, modern limits 
are the legacy of now-Sheriff Simon Leis Jr., a for- 
mer county prosecutor, and Charles H. Keating Jr., 
who founded Citizens for Decent Literature here 
and pursued purveyors until he left Cincinnati to 
enter the savings and loan business. 

Late last year, stills from the Pier Paolo Pasolini 
movie Salo: 120 Days of Sodom were neatly excised 
from the public library's copy of Naomi Greene's 
biography of the gay, Marxist Italian filmmaker. In 
1994, the right of Cincinnatians to know Pasolini's 
work once again was challenged when Gary 
Allgeier, co-owner of the Pink Pyramid book store, 
and two clerks, Steven Austin and William Dean, 



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were charged with the same misdemeanor: pan- 
dering obscenity for renting the Salo videotape. 

Boosters say this intolerance to smut is one rea- 
son Cincinnati is rated among the most livable 
U.S. cities. Others say Cincinnati is a community 
in which the First Amendment must be defended 
constantly against censors and the censorious. 

Yet when seven Robert Mapplethorpe photos 
provoked pandering obscenity indictments against 
the Contemporary Arts Center and its director, 
Dennis Barrie, in 1990, jurors acquitted them. 
These were eight men and women whose familiar- 
ity with the art scene was minimal, but they said 
the charges were baseless when the 175-photo 
exhibit was considered as a whole. 

Popular response to the Mapplethorpe prosecu- 
tion ranged from satisfaction at seeing cultural 
arbiters humbled to pride in the good sense and 
integrity of ordinary Cincinnatians who sat on 
that jury. More recently, local prosecutors decided 
not to prosecute the play Poor Superman, with its 
gay themes, although there was anxiety over the 
intimidating investigation. But now, Cincin- 
natians again are pondering their city prosecutor's 
zeal. 

The Pink Pyramid bookstore employees don't 
deny renting Pasolini's 1975 film, Salo, to under- 
cover vice officers in mid- 1994. Rather, they say 
they are innocent of pandering obscenity. Allgeier 
won't talk about the charges with reporters as per 
orders from his attorney. 

As Jeffrey Douglas, a Santa Monica lawyer and 
obscenity scholar put it, "Salo is a great film, not 
pornographic at all, unless one is an unreformed 
Nazi." 

On September 30, defense attorney H. Louis 
Sirkin and his co-counsels, Cathy R. Cook, Cathy 
Adams, and Laura Abrams, explained to judge 
William Mallory, Jr. how Pasolini took the eigh- 
teenth century book by the Marquis de Sade, 120 
Days of Sodom, and placed it in the northern 
Italian town of Salo, the last refuge of Italian 
Fascists in World War II. They explained how 
Pasolini used cruelty, depravity, and sex to illus- 
trate the corruption of the powerful church hier- 
archy, nobility, and industrialists. 

So did a friend-of-the-court brief from the 
American Civil Liberties Union, signed by the 
Association of Independent Video and Film- 
makers (AIVF), the American Museum of the 
Moving Image, Film Forum, the Sundance 
Institute, the Coalition against Censorship in the 
Arts, and many other organizations and individu- 
als, tracing Pasolini's themes and the evolution of 
modern standards for obscenity in U.S. Supreme 
Court decisions. "If they can ban the work of a 
creative giant like Pasolini," said Martha Wallner, 
advocacy director for AIVF, "then no AIVF mem- 
ber is safe from censorship. We suggest that the 
money being wasted on undercover rental agents 
or video cops in Cincinnati be used for indepen- 



10 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



dent media projects instead." 

Mallory was not moved by the argument or the 
brief. He rejected defense arguments that Salo, 
when taken in its entirety, has serious literary, 
artistic, scientific, or political value and, as such, is 
exempt from obscenity prosecution as a matter of 
law (Miller v. California, 1973). Incidentally, the 
judge who handled the Mapplethorpe case had 
done the same thing in 1990 when Sirkin, who 
was then defending Barrie and the Contemporary 
Arts Center, said the charges should be dismissed. 
Mallory left it to a jury to decide whether Salo is 
obscene. 

On November 10, Sirkin again attempted to 
have the case dismissed on First Amendment 
grounds. Judge Mallory surprised many locals 
when he ruled to suppress the case's evidence, say- 
ing inept or overzealous vice unit officers kept the 
videotape for so long after its two-day rental peri- 
od that it became prior restraint and violated the 
First Amendment. Mallory said that made the 
videotape essentially stolen goods and it violated 
the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable 
search and seizure when officers used it to get a 
probable cause finding and a search warrant from 
a judge. City Prosecutor Terrence Cosgrove said 
he would appeal the judge's decision. 

After his November 10 victory, Sirkin said, 
"I'm really appalled personally that police ever 
considered bringing a charge." He also said that an 
appeal would be a further waste of taxpayer 
money. "If the city had any sense they'd let it be." 

A second ingredient in this theater of the 
absurd played out in a courtroom is local antipathy 
to sex that strays from celibacy or the heterosexu- 
al norm, preferably within marriage. Pink Pyramid, 
a modest downtown bookstore on Court Street, 
caters to gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. 

As defense attorney Cathy Cook put it, vice 
squad officers would never raid "straight... guys in 
suits" enjoying heterosexual pornography at 
downtown newsstands on their lunch hours. 

True? Is the Pink Pyramid being harrassed 
because it caters to a gay clientele? "Not that I'm 
aware of," prosecutor Cosgrove has said. 

Underlying this sense of anti-gay hostility is the 
unresolved fight over the constitutionality of Issue 
3, the city charter amendment that stripped 
Cincinnati's human rights ordinance of any pro- 
tections based on sexual orientation. Voters 
approved Issue 3 overwhelmingly in 1993 after a 
brutal, divisive campaign. 

Quickly, Alphonse Gerhardstein, a civil rights 
attorney in private practice, and ACLU counsel 
Scott Greenwood challenged the new law in U.S. 
District Court, aided by Lambda Legal Defense 
Fund lawyers. Facing them were the city solicitor's 
office and lawyers hired by Equal Rights-Not 
Special Rights, a group formed to pass Issue 3. 

The gay rights advocates won. Initially, Judge S. 
Arthur Spiegel temporarily barred Issue 3's 



enforcement. Then, in the first decision of its kind 
by a federal judge, Spiegel said the law singled out 
a group for hostile, disparate treatment and denied 
their Constitutional rights. 

The city and Equal Rights-Not Special Rights 
asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth 
Circuit to overturn that judgment; a decision 
could be months away. 

Ben L. Kaufman 

Ben L. Kaufman covers federal courts and legal affairs 
for The Cincinnati Enquirer. 



VIRGIL 
GRILLO 

1938-1994 

Just a week before he died, Virgil Grillo, creator of 
the film studies program at the University of 
Colorado, was resting on his massage chair. He 
was exhausted from showing a TV reporter his 
exhibit of paper cutouts at the Boulder Center for 
the Visual Arts and his oxygen generator was act- 
ing up. 

Grillo had fought mightily against lung cancer, 
but we all knew that time was running out. To pre- 
pare for the opening of the art show, he got a blood 
transfusion, like a marathon runner doing some 
blood doping before a big race. 

And the show was just the beginning of his last 
weekend. About 50 friends came from out of 
town, and they were invited to Grillo's for dinner 
after the show. Grillo was a fabulous, enthusiastic 
host and the best kind of hedonist. He created 
lasting friendships among people who met for the 
first time at his home over wonderful meals. 

That Saturday night, in the Glenn Miller 
Ballroom on campus, the university held an offi- 
cial retirement party. After 90 minutes of speech- 
es, a rock n' roll band came out. 

A hundred people leaped to their feet to join 
Grillo and his wife, Joanne, dancing to "Brown 
Sugar." The Grillos had started the dancing at par- 
ties in Boulder since 1968, when Grillo became an 
assistant professor in the English department. And 
for the last time — but with the same exuber- 
ance — he trundled out on the floor, oxygen tube 
and all. He shook his bottom, and he banged his 
tambourine. 

But two days earlier he was tired. He looked 
over for a second and said, "I'm sorry I can't make 
eye contact. I'm just too tired. Hold my hand." 

So we held hands for a few minutes. A couple 
who were among his closest friends came in, and 
we talked a bit. I said I had to go home and cook 
dinner. 

"What are you making?" he asked. 




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Virgil Grille 1938-1994. 

Photo: Cliff Grassmick, courtesy Boulder Daily Camera. 

"I don't know. Maybe some pasta." 

"just make some aglw e olio (garlic and olive 
oil)," he said, and paused. "And if you have some 
cream cheese throw that in and maybe a can of 
clams, if you have some. It's a great alfredo." He 
said it with such affection and delight, my mouth 
watered. This was the same excitement he 
brought to his work. 

Grillo did more than develop a program in film 
studies that finally became a major in 1989. He 
came to a university that had a low level of inter- 
est in film and a snobbish resistance to film study. 
He bullied, pushed, cajoled, and encouraged until 
he made film a valid subject of study and an appre- 
ciated art form on campus. 

I was never a student of Grillo's, nor did I work 
for him, but I caught the bug anyway. Grillo as a 
benign — actually a wonderful — version of the pod 
people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. From him 
the love of film spread over an enormous territory. 

Early in his career at Colorado University, 
Grillo established the Rocky Mountain Film 
Center, a campus organization that ran the 
International Film Series and initiated a list of 



public programs involving the cinema. The center 
now has cameras, sound, and editing equipment 
available at minimal cost. 

The center sponsored the Colorado Film 
Network, which sent films by foreign and inde- 
pendent American filmmakers to small towns 
around the state that would never otherwise have 
had access to those movies. Grillo directed the 
Colorado Humanities Program for several years, 
and he went to Washington to serve as assistant 
director to the National Endowment for the Arts 
for two years. Later he became a consultant for the 
John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation. 

The essence of the foundation work was to get 
money to independent filmmakers and to find 
ways for them to show their films to audiences. 
Grillo created several series of independent films 
for public television and cable, and helped create 
a score of media arts centers around the country. 

And at home, his creations continue to grow 
and develop. The film studies major is one of the 
largest on the CU-Boulder campus. The faculty 
includes Bruce Kawin, one of the finest film histo- 
rians in America, and filmmaker Stan Brakhage, 



12 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



honored in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, 
and in Europe for his 40 years and work. 

Few knew Grillo was an artist in his own right. 
He'd made paper cutouts for years without spilling 
the beans, but in his last year he started to show 
them. They're beautiful and ingenious, but the 
revelation only confirmed what was obvious all 
along: that Grillo shaped his own life as a work of 
art. 

That work came most clear in his illness. His 
friends — even casual acquaintances — knew he 
was sick. We all heard about the course of treat- 
ments. The "Virgil Hotline" on his university tele- 
phone contained an up-to-date bulletin on his 
progress. Grillo never became morbid; he simply 
asked that his friends, his community, be part of 
this aspect of his life as well as the other parts. 

So we did it. We listened and talked and asked 
questions. No one ever took chemotherapy with 
such vigor, enthusiasm, and knowledge. He 
grabbed at life and held on to it with incredible, 
but still gentle, ferocity. 

He hoped for the best and sought every possi- 
ble treatment — medical, holistic, spiritual — with- 
out denying the seriousness of his lung cancer. 
And his friends went through it with him, feeling 
up at the good news and depressed at the bad. But 
everyone was glad to be with someone who lived 
with such spirit. 

He died the same way. Friday, Saturday, and 
Sunday he partied and talked with his friends. He 
got them to see him before he died rather than 
after. On Monday and Tuesday he rested. On 
Wednesday he spent two hours in his swimming 
pool, hooked up to the oxygen and having fun 
with his closest friends. And on Thursday, 
October 13, he died. 

"He scripted the whole damn things," one of 
his closest friends said. "Incredible." 

Howie Movshovitz 

Howie Mmshovitz is a movie critic for the 
Denver Post. 

This article was reprinted with permission from the 
Denver Post. It originally ran m the paper on October 
25, 1994. A scholarship fund has been established in 
Grillo 's memory. Donations may be made to: University 
of Colorado Foundation, Inc.: The Virgil Grillo 
Fellowship in Arts and Humanities, do C.L'. Foundation, 
Box 1 140, Boulder, CO 80306. 



ERRATA 

A photo credit for Patricia Torkildsen was 
inadvertently omitted from the December 
issue for the photographs of AIVF's 20th 
anniversary celebration on p. 52-54. We regret 
the oversight. 




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January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 13 




Talking 
Heads 




MICHEL NEGROPONTE 

JUPITER'S WIFE 

By Rob Edelman 



At a time when Hollywood films 
routinely cost tens of millions of 
dollars, filmmaker Michel Negro- 
ponte has managed to make an 
entertaining and provocative feature on what is 
truly a bargain basement budget. 

His secret: He shot it on video, using the S- 
VHS format. Negroponte's camcorder cost 
$1,500. The price of the tape stock for 45 hours of 
material, from which he culled his 78-minute final 
version, was under $400. "It would have cost 
about $50,000 to do the same shoot in 16mm," 
says the filmmaker. "I knew that I'd have to spend 
several years fundraising in order to shoot on film, 
so I committed myself to shooting on S-VHS." 

Negroponte's film, Jupiter's Wife, is a 
mystery/documentary about a homeless woman he 
chanced to encounter in Central Park. "My origi- 
nal idea was to do a documentary portrait of 
Central Park," Negroponte explains. "I cast about 
a half-dozen people who use the park in different 
ways. I photographed a lawn bowler, a Greek hot 
dog vendor, a diverse cross-section of people. 

"One day I was sitting at the boat pond and I 
saw this woman with a huge backpack and, at that 
point, four dogs," he continues. "She had this aura 
of someone who had just stepped out of the 
wilderness. I just sat there gaping. 

"I introduced myself. She said, 'Oh, I've been 
expecting you for a couple of weeks!' Her name 
was Maggie, and she began telling me stories of 
her life that were extraordinary." 

Maggie is a middle-aged woman who had been 
living in the park for several years; she describes 
herself as "a member of the class of '86." She 



explains that she has ESP She claims to be the 
wife of the god Jupiter and the daughter of the 
late Hollywood actor Robert Ryan. She also hears 
voices. 

"There was this element of myth about Maggie 
and her persona," notes the filmmaker. "I imme- 
diately decided that she would become a part of 
the project. I was still committed to doing the 
broader piece. But I found myself photographing 
Maggie most of all. Everyone else was becoming a 




Courtesy filmmaker 



cameo. And so Maggie became the focus of the 
piece." 

Over a two year period, Negroponte chroni- 
cled his growing friendship with Maggie. Along 
the way he delved into her past and discovered 
that back in the late sixties she had been a minor 
celebrity as Central Park's first female hansom cab 
driver. Within a couple of years, after appearing in 
a Universal newsreel and as a guest on What's M} 
Line.', Maggie had two children. While committed 
for a time in a mental hospital, she permanently 
lost custody of them. As she cradles a newborn 
puppy in her arms in the film, she seems to be 
reliving the experience of mothering her own off- 
spring. 

Jupiter's Wife had its world premiere last June 
at the fifth International Documentary Festival in 
Marseilles, where it was screened in its original 
format. Variety called it "a wonderful piece of soci- 
ological detective work," noting that Jupiter's Wife 
"should enjoy a long career on the fest circuit and 



in discerning tube slots." 

That was when it existed only on video. By the 
time the film was presented at the Independent 
Feature Film Market in September, it had been 
transferred to 35mm. At first, Negroponte had no 
plans to do so. "Even a year ago, when I knew I 
had a solid rough cut, I figured TV would be the 
primary outlet for the film," he says. 

It was around that time Negroponte showed his 
film to Doug Block and Jane Weiner, coproducers 
of Silverlake Life: The View 
From Here, a video diary 
of filmmaker Tom Joslin 
and his lover Mark Massi, 
both of whom had been 
diagnosed with AIDS. 
Block and Weiner had 
made a S-VHS-to-16mm 
transfer,, and the film 
ended up getting a distrib- 
utor and theatrical book- 
ings. "Because of their 
experience," says Negro- 
ponte, who later gave 
them coproducer credits, 
"I was able to be con- 
vinced that there were 
outlets for my film beyond 
television." 

Jupiter's Wife is not 
Negroponte's debut fea- 
ture. His credits date back 
to Space Coast (1980), co- 
directed with Ross McEl- 
wee, his thesis film made 
while in the graduate film program at MIT. He 
describes it as a "dark, gothic, Southern tale about 
the remnants of the fifties and sixties boom that 
brought people to Cape Canaveral, Florida, to 
work in the space program." For PBS, he and 
McElwee also directed Resident Exile (1981), a por- 
trait of a young Iranian who had been imprisoned 
for two years under the Shah and then escaped to 
the United States. On his own, Negroponte made 
Silver Valley (1984), which he calls a "portrait of a 
border town in trouble. It's about the extended 
family of the mining town of Kellogg, Idaho, and 
what happens when the economy collapses." He 
also contributed a segment about street vendors in 
Washington, DC to the ITVS series Declarations 
(1992). 

The filmmaker describes himself and his MIT 
classmates (including McElwee and Robb Moss) 
as "completely indebted to the heroes of cinema 
verite, like Ricky Leacock, Ed Pincus, and D.A. 
Pennebaker. It's just that our work is quite differ- 



14 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



ent. We've tried to chart out new territory and 
extend the boundaries of cinema verite. We feel 
that a filmmaker doesn't have to mask his or her 
presence during the making of the film and in the 
end result." 

When he started directing films, Negroponte 
adapted the more conventional cinema verite 
approach. "But what bothered me was that 1 felt a 
personal connection was absent," he explains. 
"After all, there's a person — a living, breathing, 
feeling human being — experiencing the unfolding 
events as well as photographing them." 

Negroponte thus has come to allow himself to 
be a part of his films. "In Jupiter's Wife, Maggie is 
responding to someone, and that's me," he says. 
"In the film I reveal that my parents are European, 
my mother's Greek, and that I'm a twin. I think 
this had an impact on how Maggie related to me. 
So it's important for the viewer to know this infor- 
mation about me. 

"But at the same time, it's important to remem- 
ber that Maggie remains the subject of the film. 
She's its main component." 

Rob Edelman is the author of Great Baseball Films 

(Citadel Press), the first mass-market book about the 

national pastime on screen. 



Chicanos from East L.A. — Richard Estrada and 
brothers Flavio, Oscar, and Efrain Morales — is 
called The Illegal Interns. It began four years ago at 
the Buena Vision public access station, located in 
the heart of Latino L.A., where Estrada, 28, and 
Flavio Morales, 22, were interning at the time. 
The Illegal Interns has subsequently evolved from a 
fledgling music video program into a successful 
outlet for local bands, filmmakers, spoken word 
artists, activists, and community updates. 

"The show explores hip, urban culture from a 
Chicano perspective," says Estrada. "We want to 
be a place where people with talent who don't 
[usually] get a chance to be heard [can be heard] ." 
The producers don't stick to one particular style or 
ethnic group. "We are promoting our generation 
and want people to know that just because some- 
one might be from East L.A., it doesn't mean we 
all sound the same," says Flavio. 

Being four Chicano guys producing television 
in a town where there's a dearth of media by and 
for their bilingual generation, they tend to get sin- 
gled out. "Some people think that because of the 
color of our skin, we have to put them on our 
show," says Flavio. But they refuse to be catego- 
rized. "Our biggest thing is be yourself and inform 
yourself. Yeah, we're Chicanos, but that's not all 
we're about." 



with their kids," adds Flavio. 

What makes their show so different is what 
comes between the featured guests: humorous 
commentary and skits by the Interns themselves. 
They might demonstrate how to heat up tortillas, 
show up at a concert with fake press passes, or 
flash text on the screen like, "Is Anyone 
Watching?" What the Interns will do next is 
always a surprise. "One of our first videotaped seg- 
ments was a trip to the corner gas station to fill up 
Richard's car," recalls Flavio. "The audience 
appreciates that we are honest. We're not host 
material in the typical sense, and they know they 
are not getting something rehearsed." 

The Interns embody the definition of "self 
taught". "We got so excited when Richard figured 
out how to turn the cameras on," says Oscar. The 
equipment at Buena Vision made for a makeshift 
show: cameras without viewfinders, no tripods, 
and no directions as to which cable went where. 
Flavio adds, "As Richard started gaining more 
technical knowledge, we started to expand: mess- 
ing around with cables and putting live cameras 
on. No one at Buena Vision had ever put a live 
camera on a music show, so it was a totally differ- 
ent thing for the audience." 

The Illegal Interns has evolved over the years. 
For one thing, Flavio's younger brothers, Oscar, 



RICHARD ESTRADA & FLAVIO, 
OSCAR & EFRAIN MORALES 

cdt^nruxtv^j^ TV 

THE ILLEGAL 
INTERNS 

By Julia Meltzer 



TT 

^Lmmm^ osts Richard Estrada and Flavio 
■ Morales are bantering back and 
^^» ^^» forth on air, when suddenly 
Morales' stomach audibly growls. He looks into 
the camera and announces to his television audi- 
ence that he is hungry. Twenty minutes later, there 
is a knock on the studio door and a full meal 
appears, delivered by a devoted viewer, Mrs. 
Hernandez. "We say we're hungry on the show, 
and food shows up!," says Morales. Now that's 
community television! 

The program, produced by four young 




Although serious about providing an outlet for 
under-represented artists, one rarely catches an 
Intern in a serious mood. This has helped earn 
them a large and devoted following. "We've 
received letters from New York City, people tape 
our program and air it in Pomona, and we've been 
seen in Guadalajara via satellite poaching," says 
Flavio proudly. While their main audience is col- 
lege age, they've heard that whole families watch. 
"Everyone is trying to figure out what is going on 



Photo: Manny Guzman, courtesy videomakers 
21, and Efrain, 18, have joined the production 
team. When that happened, Flavio recalls, "we 
changed the format of the show from being shot 
right in the control room to having actual hosts in 
the studio and a director and a sound person." 
However, there is some nostalgia for the old days. 
"At the beginning there were no boundaries. Now 
that we have people helping us who know things, 
it's different." 

Different indeed, especially since September, 



January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 15 



when the Interns left public access for Channel 38 
on the UHF hand, which now broadcasts their 
show citywide five days a week. This has made for 
a busy production schedule, juggled between jobs 
and attending college. 

The widened audience is appreciated by the 
Interns. "People like Mrs. Hernandez appreciate 
what we're doing — that we're young, and we're 
doing something," says Flavio. But his biggest satis- 
faction is more personal. "One of the things that 
makes me really happy is that my youngest broth- 
er, Efrain, decided to help us on the show, and now 
he's going to Cal State LA, taking production 
classes, and looking into film as a career. For me, 
that's cool, because when we started the show, he 
had no clue what he was going to do with his life, 
and now he has directed himself." 

Julia Meltzer is a videomaker, media literacy teacher, 
and writer living m Los Angeles. 



NEW JERSEY 
DRIVE 

By Veronica Mixon 



A f V hacked into filmmaking after trying 
M to figure out what to do. It seemed 
■ like a vocation that I could handle," 
^^™ says Nick Gomez of his life in the 
mid-eighties, after attending State Universiryrof- 
New York (SUNY) at Purchase. "And here I am at 
midnight, in the middle of Brooklyn." It's spring of . 
1994, and Gomez has been battling bad weather 
during the shoot of his film-in-progress, New Jersey 
Drive, about Newark teenagers heisting cars and 
engaging the police in high-speed chases, which 
Gomez shot in Brooklyn. 

New Jersey Drive was conceived in 1992, after 
Gomez read a New York Times article about this 
volatile situation. His debut feature, Laws of 
Gravity, had just opened. "I used to steal cars 
when I was a kid, and I like the frenetic energy of 
a little kid behind a big car," he explains. "Newark 
was a focused version in a visual way [of] a lot of 
the problems in this country." 

The Boston-bred Irish-Italian director, who left 
home at 15, doesn't ignore the knuckleheads in 
American society. Nor does he glamorize them, as 



seems to be the trend in Hollywood fantasy films. 
"I think the people from the margins of society in 
this country are much more reflective of what our 
psyche is, because all of our values are pushed to 
the forefront in a very finite way," says Gomez. In 
Laws of Gravity, the director depicted the tough, 
brutal world of two white petty criminals in 
Brooklyn, while New Jersey Drive concerns black 
urban youth stealing cars out of boredom. "The 
values of consumerism, power and control, influ- 
ence, machismo, and love and hate become much 
more important," he notes. "People who don't 
have a place that's comfortable, [with] economi- 
cally secure foundations, and somehow in the 
workings of society are forgotten or abandoned, 
seem to be better a reflection of who we are as a 
people than the middle-class and upper class." 

Gomez works with producers Larry Meistrich 
and Bob Gosse, who operate The Shooting Galley, 
a Manhattan-based independent production com- 




pany they started four years ago. This cutting-edge 
operation works with anywhere from eight to 10 
directors, helping them raise money and get pro- 
jects off the ground. To date, Laws of Gravity, 
which was shot in 12 days for $38,000, remains 
their most successful venture. 

With New Jersey Drive, Gomez has leapt to a 
$6-million budget — a significantly larger produc- 



tion in terms of people, scale, and union regula- 
tions, but still low budget by Hollywood standards. 
Gomez launched the project after meeting with 
Spike Lee, who drummed up interest at Universal 
and is executive producer of the film. However, 
Gomez spent a year in "development hell," endur- 
ing an endless series of meetings and rewrites 
while revising his original script. "It was easier to 
make a film with pocket money — you and your 
buddies get together," Gomez recalls. "It is a little 
frustrating working on a bigger scale. I'm interest- 
ed in trying to find a happy medium where I can 
find a certain amount of independence and yet 
make films that people will still go see." 

New Jersey Drive focuses on the friendship 
between two teens, Jason and Midget, as well as 
on Jason's relationship with his mother. The paral- 
lels with Laws of Gravity are easily recognizable 
(though his newer film has more action and a lot 
less hand-held camera): for one thing, Gomez 
doesn't hesitate to 
create strong wo- 
men who are intri- 
cately involved 
with male charac- 
ters. He doesn't 
flinch from a story 
with African Amer- 
ican characters, 
either. The director 
says, enthusiastic- 
ally, that he's trying 
to capture a certain 
vibrancy in black 
life, as opposed to a 
dark, pessimistic in- 
terpretation. 

"There are a lot of 
great reasons for 
whites not to make 
black films: Zebra- 
head, Fresh. They 
don't feel real," says 
Gomez. "When I 
saw Fresh, my first 
question was 'Is this 
his first time in 
New York City?' It 

just didn't feel like 
Courtesy Gramercy Pictures any wor|d w ever 

seen before. 

"It didn't really occur to me until I started get- 
ting asked the questions about it. I haven't felt any 
shortcomings or drawbacks or stumbling points 
along the way. There were enough black kids in 
my neighborhood growing up that it wasn't any 
great leap for me." 

Gomez has discovered one hurdle he'll have to 



16 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 








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resolve with future film projects. He concedes that 
a director's job is to be a gracious host to an army 
of talented people and to create an environment 
where no one feels stifled. But wearing two hats 
can be tricky. "When you're a writer/director, you 
suddenly realize if you need to change something 
for budgetary reasons, it's me who's got to go home 
and rewrite the fuclcin' thing!," he laughs. "Also, I 
have limits as a writer. I definitely want to work 
with other writers." 

Gomez is already thinking about future pro- 
jects, and the urban grittiness of his past films still 
play an important role. He's interested in boxing, 
particularly the story of sixties heavyweight cham- 
pion Sonny Liston. There's also the Dominican 
kids' cocaine trade in Washington Heights in 
upper Manhattan and the recent New York City 
police corruption cases. "Police are like the mob in 
uniform. The way they operate, they're out there 
doing everything except protecting people." 

New Jersey Drive, which Grammercy Pictures is 

distributing, will open theatrically on March 3. 

Veronica Maori is a film critic for Carib News based in 

New York Cir\. 



T 

ROBERT MUGGE 



nrwisic: 

By Steve Dollar 

^L^^ ew independent filmmakers embody 
■ the work ethic as visibly as Robert 

J^. Mugge, or get as much mileage from 

a shoestring. 

The 44-year-old Philadelphia-based director 
has made 16 films in a 20-year career devoted to 
documenting the myriad cross-currents of 
American music, with an eclectic catalog that 
bounces between diverse genres and colorful per- 
sonalities with the enthusiasm of a kid cut loose 
with $20 in the coolest record store imaginable. 

"In all my films, I see music as a metaphor for 
the human spirit," says Mugge, whose camera has 
focused on such performers as salsa star Ruben 
Blades, smooth soul preacher Al Green, cosmic 
jazzman Sun Ra, and Mississippi deep blues musi- 
cians Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside. "If I'm 
doing nothing else, at least I hope I'm document- 
ing artists that have that spirit, that really speak to 
what it is to be human." 

Most recently, Mugge has focused on a trio of 
theme-oriented pieces that now are making the 



18 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 99E 



Courtesy filmmaker 



festival rounds: True 
Believers: The Musical Family 
of Rounder Records, about 
the roots-oriented Cam- 
bridge record label; The 
Kingdom of Zydeco, which 
captures the antics ot high- 
spirited Louisiana zydeco 
musicians amid a controver- 
sial battle-of-the-bands; and 
Gather at the River: A 
Bluegrass Celebration, a visit 
to the 1993 International 
Bluegrass Festival in 
Owensboro, Kentucky. 

What's remarkable about 
the films is that Mugge shot 
all three in one 10-day trip 
that took him from Mass- 
achusetts to the bayous. 
"You have to find someone 
crazy enough to put in a lit- 
tle money, move real fast 
and work cheaply," says 
Mugge, who got the 
$350,000 financing which 
he parlayed into three films 
from BMG Video, where he 
found a corporate advocate 
impressed with the favorable 
press generated by his 1992 film, Deep Blues. 
Mugge pressed the executive, David Steffen (who 
has since left BMG) to fund a film on Rounder 
Records, and in turn was asked to do a bluegrass 
movie, "something as a leaping off point for an 
overview of regional American music today. We 
figured out that with one big trip through the 
South, I could make both films for him." 

Mugge had intended to stop in Lake Charles, 
Louisiana, to film a concert by zydeco bandleader 
Beau Jocques, who records for Rounder, and 
ended up with a front row seat for a zydeco battle 
royale featuring Jocques and salty zydeco legend 
Boozoo Chavis. "I thought, my God, we've got a 
real story here," Mugge says. "So I figured I could 
squeeze a zydeco film out of it, too." 

Interestingly enough, The Kingdom of Zydeco, 
shot totally on the fly, offers the strongest vindica- 
tion of Mugge's method. Its vivid characters, inti- 
mate framing, and high-quality sound recording 
makes it both a valuable archive of folk mania and 
a shameless piece of entertainment. Likewise, both 
the Rounder and bluegrass films are primarily 
about performance; the songs are always included 
in full, from first note to last. 

This is what separates Mugge from most music 
documentarians. If it sometimes causes his films to 
drag — depending on the tastes of whomever's 
watching — he offers no apologies. 




"I'm really hardcore," he says. "People some- 
times wonder why I spend so much time on musi- 
cal performance, where somebody else will give 
you a couple of bars and go to some interviews. 
One of the main goals of these films is to preserve 
musical performances for the future, and the best 
way to show respect for the performer is to let it 
run." 

As of late 1994, Mugge had no video distribu- 
tor for his five most recent films, including Deep 
Blues and his 1992 Pride ar\d Jcry: The Story of 
Alligator Records. The work sits in limbo while 
BMG, after a management shift, attempts to sell 
the video rights. Mugge, whose previous films are 
distributed on video by music specialty companies 
like Rhapsody Films in New York, isn't worried. 
"Someone will get them," he says. 

By managing to find such corporate sponsor- 
ship, he hasn't made a grant application in 18 
years. "These grant agencies don't know how to 
deal with these projects either," he says. Instead, 
they foster films about "folk and blues artists who 
are on the verge of death, beyond their ability to 
perform at their best. They don't really understand 
why it might also be important to film someone 
who's 20 or 30 or 40, working in a genre that's 
somewhere outside the mainstream." 

Steve Dollar writes about popular and other forms of 
music for die Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 



ANNOUNCING 



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B 



itter experience led Thomas 
Halaczinsky to create the 
European 
Production Office, 
a New York- 
based consulting 
firm that 

links 
American inde- 
pendent filmmak- 
ers with European 
sources of funding. 
Twice since 1991, 
the 36-year-old 
German producer 
and director of 
documentary and 
f e a t u re films 
encountered 
financial disaster 
at critical junc- 
tures during major 
projects. As a 
result, production 
on one film was 
halted and the 
other was shelved 
before being com- 
pleted, leaving Halaczinsky with lessons about the 
vicissitudes of international financing that he now 
passes on to his clients. 

Although linkages between U.S. independent 
filmmakers and European backers are largely 
unexplored, Halaczinsky believes there is consid- 
erable affinity between the two groups. 
"Europeans are both interested in the United 
States and used to doing smaller pictures," he 
explains. "Even top directors overseas may work 
on what in America would be considered low-bud- 
get films. Europeans in general are used to paying 
less money for high quality." 

Clients of the year-old European Production 
Office access Halaczinsky 's personal contacts and 
knowledge of the technical and monetary 
resources available overseas. In the early eighties, 
he was an executive of the firm that set up the first 



privately-operated cable television networks in 
Germany. By the end of the decade, he started his 
own film company, which produced documentary 
films for German television. 

He received development funds from the 
North Rhine -Westphalia Film Fund for Bronsky's 
Confession, a $3.5-million feature that was to be 
directed by Peter Patzak (Killing Blue and Rochade) 
and shot in New York, but the project fell apart 
because he could not secure enough funding. His 
next project was Facing the Forest, a German/Israeli 
coproduction that Angelika Films was slated to 
distribute in the United States. When its German 
distributor went bankrupt, the nearly-completed 




Photo: Bethany Jacobson, courtesy European Production Office 

film languished unreleased, even though it had 
been invited to the 1994 Berlin Film Festival as an 
official German entry in the Competition section. 

Following those back-to-back disappointments, 
Halaczinsky was hired as the U.S. representative 
for Project ITRA, the film-production subsidiary 
of a large German corporation that conducts trade 
with Russia. After relocating to New York for 
ITRA, Halaczinsky learned about independent 
filmmaking in the United States by participating 
in the 1992 Sundance Producers' Conference and 
producing and directing two documentaries. He 
soon recognized the potential for linkages with 
Europe. 

"The nature of funding in Europe is completely 
different than it is in the States," Halaczinsky 
explains. "For one, governments are a major 
source of money and are oriented toward the eco- 



20 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



nomic goal of employing their citizens. 
Consequently, they are looking for talent and pro- 
jects to employ their workers and use their tech- 
nology." 

Halac:insky is not a business or legal advisor. 
Instead, he examines the viability of his clients' 
budgets and ideas, and formulates appropriate 
overseas marketing strategies. For a screenplay set 
in the Caribbean that could not find U.S. backing, 
Halaczinsky seized on the idea of marketing the 
project in France, which maintains close cultural 
ties to several former colonies in that region. His 
role entailed contacting a producer he knew in 
France and presenting him with project. To 
finance postproduction costs of New York film- 
maker Mandy Jacobson's essay film on the Bosnian 
war, Halaczinsky negotiated with a German TV 
magazine program to use the footage for a 45- 
minute documentary. Payment will fund the 90- 
minute essay project Jacobson had envisioned ini- 
tially. For a third project, Halaczinsky is attempt- 
ing to secure European funding for a feature film 
by Manhattan-based production company 
Cinepax. Based on a novel by Israeli author Amos 
Oz, the film, A Perfect Tease, is set in Israel and will 
be an American/Israeli coproduction. "I was told 
so many times that there's no market for Israel- 
oriented films in the States," he says. "I spoke to 
distributors in Cannes. They all commented that if 
you put the word 'Israel' in a treatment for a film, 
the chances of it being picked up are smaller." 

In addition to utilizing his overseas production 
contacts, Halaczinsky also works closely with for- 
eign distributors, including Cori Films in London, 
which he refers to as a powerful player in the inter- 
national TV market. 

At present, Halaczinsky wants to read treat- 
ments, which he will review at no cost. For con- 
sulting work, he charges $125 per hour, although 
for projects with which he becomes personally 
involved, he may defer his fees. He estimates that 
the European Production Office will be able to 
handle 20 to 25 projects a year. 

"Europe is interested in the United States," he 
says, "which makes it easier for American film- 
makers to get European money than it would be 
for a European who came here. Independents 
haven't found effective ways to present their ideas 
to overseas investors and have to depend on unre- 
liable sources of funding in the United States — say 
a rich dentist who wants to be involved in the film 
business. 

"With business in general becoming more glob- 
al, that way of raising money can't represent the 
future of independent films." 

Contact: European Production Office, 208 W. 30th 
St., #1205, New York, NY 10001; (212) 465-0652; 
fax: (212) 465-0653. 

Albert Stem is a freelance writer living in New York. 





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January/February 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 21 



—FielcT 
Reports 



By Laura U. Marks 



Your 
off 





he Toronto International Film Festival, now in its nineteenth year, contin- 
ues to be a user-friendly festival and one of the major stops on the North 
American circuit. The 10-day program of 300 films is so packed with low- 
budget, independent, experimental, documentary, and foreign films that one 
may not even notice the glitzy blockbusters. Festival programmers manage 
to give preference to more challenging important work while allowing com- 
merce to keep its wheels greased in large part because of the sheer volume 
of work shown. Moreover, most of these screenings sell out to a receptive 
and diverse local audience. 

Crumb's popularity at the test's public screenings had distributors lining up. 

Courtesy Superior Pictures 



The 
Toronto 

International Film 
Festival 



THE FILMS SELECTED FOR 
TORONTO ARE ACTUALLY A 
REFLECTION OF THE SPECIFIC 
"BEATS" AND TASTES OF ABOUT 1 1 PROGRAMMERS. Kay 

Armatage, for instance, has developed Toronto's connection with U.S. inde- 
pendents over the years, and her choices often show up in the more cutting- 
edge programs, such as The Edge and First Cinema. The First Cinema pro- 
gram has helped launch an astonishing number of careers — many thanks to 
Armatage's selections — including those of Julie Dash, Hal Hartley, Charles 
Burnett, Todd Haynes, Michael Moore, Susan Seidelman, and Joel and Ethan 
Coen. This year Armatage's U.S. selctions in this category included Mark 
Malone's Killer, Steve McLean's Postcards from America, and Matira 
Giovanni's Bar Girls; others included George Huang's The Buddy Factor; Hoop 
Dreams by Steve James, Frederick Marx, and Peter Gilbert; Shu Lea Cheang's 
Fresh Kill; Kevin Smith's Qerks; and Jyll Johnson's Martha and Ethel, all in 
addition, of course, to many foreign selections. 

Everything that gets sent to the festival is seen by at least two festival pro- 
grammers, so any work is likely to get a fair viewing. "A cassette comes in, a 
few programmers watch it, and if they don't like it, they'll steer it to someone 
else," Armatage says. "For example, David [Overbey] will write, 'Pretentious, 
arty piece of crap — try Kay or Piers [Handling],' or I'll write, 'Sentimental and 

22 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 




melodramatic — David will like it." 

The festival receives several hundred submis- 
sions each year from international independents. 
This year there were 200 more than in 1993, 
according to programmer Cameron Bailey. 
Although the festival was "deluged" with 
American independents, Armatage says, "the 
American independent scene was not as strong as 
in past years." She speculates, "I think there are a 
lot of rich white hoys making films, film students 
who work at a sophomoric level but don't know 
their work is sophomoric." 

While the number of films screened at the fes- 
tival has remained level at about 300 over the past 
three years, the number of publicists, distributors, 
and sales people has tripled — which helps explain 
the parallel climb in film submissions. "Toronto 
was never designed to be a market," Bailey says, 
"but business has become a focus almost by 
default, especially for American independents." 

John Pierson, a former producer's rep who now 
finances films for completion, notes that the pub- 
lic and critical response to films screened at 
Toronto can be crucial to securing distribution. 
Though he no longer represents films, Pierson 
made an exception this year in Toronto for Crumb, 
a slow-burn kind of film. Pierson admits Crumb 
had "major problems with distributors" at the 
press screening: a number of distributors walked 
out 90 minutes into the two-hour documentary 
about the life of cartoonist R. Crumb. However, it 
subsequently received an enthusiastic response at 
the public screening and near- unanimous praise 
from critics, which "brought the distributors back 
in line," says Pierson. By the time it screened at 
the New York Film Festival, word on the film was 
out from Toronto. A number of large and small 
distributors bid on the film, and Sony Classics 
eventually picked it up. 

Pierson notes that for American independents 
who've set their sights on Sundance, it can be a 
problem to screen at Toronto first, because by the 
time Sundance occurs in January, the film is "old, 
tired news." If a filmmaker is lucky enough to be 
invited to both, following Toronto with the New- 
York Film Festival is a more effective strategy, "a 
one-two punch." Toronto-Berlin or Sundance- 
Berlin are good sequences for gaining the recogni- 
tion of international distributors. The Berlin 
Forum used to avoid exhibiting works that had 
screened in Toronto, but Pierson finds that policy 
has relaxed. 

Toronto does not have a strict policy on pre- 
mieres, according to Bailey. World premieres are 
preferred, of course; North American premieres of 
certain films are insisted upon; but some films are 
screened after thay have been to major U.S. festi- 
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have just been at the Montreal Film Festival two 
weeks earlier. 

Steve MacLean's first feature film, Postcards 
from America, premiered at Toronto. Based on the 
writings of artist and AIDS activist David 
Wojnarowicz, it was one of the more experimental 
features at the festival: the film is not a biopic of 




Sandy Zeig's Central Park was one of many 
shorts given prominent space at the Toronto 
test. Courtesy filmmaker 



Experimental features like Postcards from 
America generally receive as hearty an audi 
ence as the studio productions at Toronto. 

Photo: Joyce George, courtesy filmmaker 



Wojnarowicz, but a fragmentary narrative that 
evokes the appalling beauty of his literary work. 
Craig Paull, Postcards' coproducer with Christine 
Vachon, found Toronto a friendly place — "not like 
the zoo at Cannes." He notes, "The audiences [at 
Toronto] seem to be more open to more experi- 
mental work, and that's refreshing." 

The Q&A sessions that followed the public 
screenings were lively and intelligent. Shu Lea 
Cheang, whose Fresh Kill screened in Toronto, was 
as much impressed with the debate and dialogue 
at her screenings as with the sheer volume of audi- 
ence members. "Audiences are well educated 
about screen languages. Screenings at 10:30 a.m. 
are full. It's totally amazing," she says. 

The festival also offers a number of programs 
for international shorts, as well as a selection of 
Canadian shorts. Makers of short films generally 
come to Toronto looking not for distributors but 
for prospective collaborators, sponsors, and 
exhibitors. Industry representatives in turn attend 
screenings of shorts to find prospects for feature 
directors. 

Sande Zeig's Central Park was in a program of 
international shorts selected by Armatage, who 
saw it at the Berlin Film Festival. Films must be 
Toronto premieres, which meant that Zeig had to 
turn down an invitation to show Central Park at 
the Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video 
Festival. 



"Toronto is one of the most important film fes- 
tivals, and for those of us in New York the most 
accessible," Zeig says. "It's the ideal place to meet 
everyone." Though she lives in New York, Zeig 
finds many of her New York contacts in Toronto. 
All participants receive industry, sales, and guest 
lists, which help filmmakers make contacts during 
the festival. Zeig 
was able to meet 
festival program- 
mers, international 
festival organizers, 
distributors, and 
exhibitors, and met 
with producers who 
expressed interest 
in her forthcoming 
feature script. "If 
you don't have a 
sales agent, you can 
make it your busi- 
ness to talk with 
those people," she 
says. 

Some indepen- 
dents, like Zeig, are 
successful at Toron- 
to on their own. 
Nevertheless, Armatage and Bailey strongly rec- 
ommend that filmmakers either come with a pub- 
licist or work with publicists based in Toronto. The 
festival has become so huge over the last few years 
that filmmakers cannot count on the close atten- 
tion they would have received earlier. 
Programmers do their best to help filmmakers net- 
work with distributors, Armatage says, but "film- 
makers really need to come with someone who will 
look out for their film, some kind of publicity 
machine, no matter how small, that can operate 
tor them." Distributors come looking for the "tilms 
that are more easygoing. But there are also films 
that are serious work. [Makers] who know in their 
hearts that it's a good film often don't recognize 
that it's not popular." 

However, Armatage emphasizes, this is also a 
festival for filmmakers who are looking for an art 
or academic audience. Toronto is well attended by 
exhibitors from noncommercial cinemas and 
museums, such as the Wexner Center, the 
American Museum of the Moving Image, Cornell 
Cinema, Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville, 
Maine, and nonprofit spaces. Many exhibitors do 
a year's programming based on their finds at 
Toronto. As the festival circuit has become tanta- 
mount to an alternative distribution network, 
Toronto is an important stop for independents 
who are not courting Hollywood. 

Laura U. Marks is a writer and programmer living in 

Rochester, NY. 



24 THE INDEPENDENT January/Febmary 1 995 



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January /February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 25 



By Barbara Bliss Osborn 



Wired 
BfueYoncfer 



Dear Dana, 

When your father was remarried 
in May 1954, I decided that you 
were old enough to pack your own 

#bag for the three day trip to 
Pennsylvania. Before you left the 
house I checked the contents and I 
was so astonished by what I discovered 
that I wrote down a list of the thmgs I 
found: a box of foreign coins, your rock collec- 
tion, Looney Tunes and Super Mouse comic books, fly-tieing 
equipment, your stamp collection, your Boy Scout handbook 
with requirements for cooking and art merit badges, a mouth 
organ, a squirt gun, a boomerang, your camera equipment 
including camera, flash attachment, filters, and exposure meter, 
and your diary. Your clothing included an undershirt, tie, four 
socks, three shirts, gray flannels, a blue blazer, and two hand- 
kerchiefs. Not included were pajamas, robe, slippers, under- 
pants, comb or brush. 

Keep in touch. 

Love, Mother 



Dana 

Atchley's 

Digital 

Campfire 

Stories 




o begins Dana Atchley's Next Exit, an autobiographi- 
cal, multimedia performance piece. In this opening 
scene, the audience hears Atchley's mother 
reading her letter, while on a large video pro- 
jection screen we see each object she men- 
tions carefully removed from a suitcase. 
During the performance, Atchley sits 

or stands stage left near his "video campfire" — a TV 

screen with an image of flickering logs. It's Atchley's 

play on the traditional campfire, a place in which 

stories are developed, told, re-told, and passed 

on. 

This first story portends the stories to 

come. Atchley, a San Francisco-based multi- 
media artist and proselytizer, is one of those 

people who keeps nearly everything: rock 

collections, letters, friends, pho- 
tographs, adventures, tucking 

them away for later use. For the 

duration of the show, he narrates 

personal anecdotes while collage - 

like images illustrating his stories 

appear on screen. Often the 

video clips and other images 

appear like magic, summoned 

by a click of his mouse, and 

then just as magically dissolve 

and disappear. 

Many of Atchley's stories 

are epochal, centering around 

emblematic moments of the fifties, 

sixties, and seventies. Each decade 

has its own tall-tale characters: 




Dana Atchley in the 
seventies, and (right) 
Atchley today, sitting 
before his multime- 
dia set. 
Courtesy artist 

Atchley's friend Mr. 
Peanut, who ran for 
mayor of Vancou- 
ver; the artist who 
tried to lace up the 
San Andreas fault 
with rope; the couple 
who celebrated their 
divorce by cross-dress- 
ing in their wedding 
outfits. 

Atchley also figures in 
these tales: The time he 
persuaded town officials 
in Crested Butte, 
Colorado, to arrest his 
TV set, take it to the 
local dump, and exe- 
cute it with a .357 
magnum for crimes 
against humanity. 
His experience of 
the sixties: "Dart- 
mouth, Yale, LSD, 
and marriage. Your ■ 
basic liberal arts educa- 
tion." His 40th birthday 
in Nothing, Arizona. 



26 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



At the beginning of each show Atchley selects 
the stories he will tell by using a wireless mouse he 
calls his "air mouse". He chooses among a collec- 
tion of on-screen objects or "sprites" — a silhouette 
of his Dad; playing cards with big red numbers; a 
photo cut-out of The Ace of Space; a pair of red 
lips. During the show, his stories can be told in any 
order, but each story has a set length, and from the 
stage, Atchley has only limited control over the 
playback. 

Atchley's stories are so intense, so hilariously 
and touchingly honest, that although there's a lot 
of technology driving Next Exit, the techno-spec- 
tacle aspect of the perfor- __^_^___________ i 

mance is easy to forget. 
The piece involves hun- 
dreds of pages of comput- 
er code written by his 
friend Patrick Milligan. 
The code allows Atchley 
to control the sprites, the 
movies, the images, the 
sound effects, the music, 
and the graphics from the 
stage. His hard- and soft- 
ware is not particularly 

high-end. It includes a Mac Quadra 800, Radius 
Video Vision Studio to capture high-resolution full 
motion video, Adobe Premiere for editing, 
PhotoShop to design and modify his still images, 
Audio Media for sound, and MacroMedia 
Director (along with Milligan's code) to control 
the interactivity. 

Atchley doesn't intend to "wow" people with 
technology. "Many people are infatuated by the 
tools," he says. "I like to have fun with them, but 1 
don't want people wondering how I did it. Then 
they're not getting the stories. That's why you 
don't see a computer on stage." 

It's the stories that matter, he stresses. That's 
the key difference between artist son and engineer 
father, an Oedipal struggle central to Next Exit. 
Atchley's father, a ham radio operator, once said to 
his son: "I want to get one thing straight with you: 
I like antennas. You like entertainment." Atchley 
concurs. "I'm interested in the message," he says. 

Although today Atchley's message is about his 
own life and times, he wasn't always comfortable 
making himself the focus of scrutiny. During the 
seventies, he crisscrossed the country as Ace, the 
Colorado Spaceman, an alter-ego that shielded 
Dana Winslow Atchley III from unwanted self-dis- 
closure. Ace compiled his adventures into a per- 
formance called Road Show. 

Ultimately, however, Atchley realized that what 
he cared about were his own stories and his own 
voice. Probing the depths of his past has put him 
in touch with his family and its history. That 




means a lot to him. "We're losing the importance 
of who we are in relation to our families," he says. 
"We're losing our soul in this country." 

Atchley hopes his work will help other people 
realize that "the accrued stories of their own expe- 
riences are useful, valid, and worthy of passing 
on." That's one of the reasons he and collaborator 
Joe Lambert set up the San Francisco Digital 
Media Center, established a year ago in a studio on 
Army Street. The Media Center provides work- 
shops for people who want to learn multimedia. 
Atchley has also given similar workshops at the 
American Film Institute in Los Angeles, in which 
people learn the tools by 
telling stories. 

At this point in his life, 
Atchley says, he'd most 
like to be "evangelizing" 
for the new medium. He 
wants to be able to reach 
the America outside the 
video and film community. 
"Most Americans could 
care less about the infor- 
mation highway," he says, 
"but when they see the 
show their eyes light up." 

So far however, his opportunities to evangelize 
have been limited. Demand for multimedia perfor- 
mance artists has not yet taken off. For a brief 
moment he acknowledges his frustration, then he 
lets loose with a strange philosophical rhyme. 
"Stick and stay, you'll make it pay," he says and 
laughs. 

In the meantime, Atchley supports himself 
working on commercial multimedia projects. His 
own work is self-financed with the help of "gener- 
ous friends" and donated equipment. "Everybody 
but Apple has given me something," he says. 
"Corporations are the NEA for the nineties. They 
need me and I need them. They need to put a 
human face on their technology. I need their tech- 
nology to pursue the humanity of what I'm trying 
to do." 

And that humanity seems to emerge through 
the work. After a performance at the Digital 
World Conference in Los Angeles last June, a 
Japanese woman approached him. She told him 
she had been living in the U.S. for five years and 
was still trying to decide whether she liked 
America and its people. "After your show," she 
said, "I decided I did." 

Unlike Dana Atchley, Barbara Bliss Osbom throws out 
everything. She is a contributing editor to The Inde- 
pendent and writes frequently on new technologies. 

Dana W. Atchley, San Francisco Digital Media 
Center, 3435 Army St., Studio 221, San Francisco, 
CA94110. 



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January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 27 



New 
York 
Video 
Festival 



By Ernest L arsen 




Shelly Silver's Former East, 
Former West, a portrait of 
how Berliners define them- 
selves today, was among 
the video test's highlights. 

Courtesy Film Society of 
Lincoln Center 



■■ INCE ITS 

^^^^^ WELCOME 

■ M Bl INAUGURA- 

B V TION THREE 

^^^^^ YEARS AGO, 

^k^J THE NEW 

^V I] York 
m^' M Video Fes- 

INGLY PLAYED SECOND FIDDLE TO 

Big Daddy, the one and only 
New York Film Festival. Given 
the latter's allure and prestige, 
you might think the spillover 
hoopla would work wonders for 
poor orphan video in a white 
citadel of culture like Lincoln 
Center. 

Think again. The mainstream 
press, which oohs, aahs, or at 
least squeaks in printed response 
to just about every cinema 
screening in Alice Tully Hall, 
routinely, deafeningly ignores 
the video sidebar at Walter 

Reade with the notable but all-too-predictable exceptions of one-shot- 
does-it-all pieces in the New York Times and Village Voice. It takes rough- 
ly two minutes to walk from Alice Tully to Walter Reade, but the legions 
of media mavens almost never make that long march. 

It's true that attendance was up 17 percent for this year's event, held 
from September 30 to October 8, which may indicate a modestly 
improved climate of audience reception to video, the least-noticed, least- 



funded, most-placeless of the 
arts. But since the arts in general 
have become so overwhelmingly 
publicity dependent that the dis- 
mal art of self-promotion has 
superseded all other forms of 
expression, the failure of the 
New York Video Festival to 
attract as much attention, not to 
mention passion, as a traffic jam 
on Columbus Avenue becomes 
more glaring each year. 

Which makes me wonder: Isn't 
it about time for somebody to 
seize the bullhorn. 7 Shouldn't an 
alert video programmer in such a 
ho-hum situation take care to 
make noise, to seduce, to swash 
the buckle, to talk the talk, to 
force the issue, to create a scan- 
dal, if necessary? Maybe it's 
unfair to expect much in the case 
of video, permanently exiled 
from its natural home on televi- 
sion and scorned in the world of 
theatrical distribution. But it is 
precisely the case up at Lincoln Center that, despite an enviable position 
of public influence amidst the red velvet backing of such an important 
venue — maybe even the most important in the U.S., pathetically 
enough — something continues to arrest the development of serious 
attention among press and potential audiences. Shouldn't the New York 
Video Festival be exactly in the right place to make video seem as hip as 
it is, the most conspicuously in-your-face, consistently experimental, con- 



28 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 




sciously politicized art 
form going? 

I would much pre- 
fer to rabbit-punch 
the print media for 
their studied indiffer- 
ence than bite the 
hand or two over at 
Lincoln Center that's 
at least trying to feed 
some of us video 
bumpkins. But it's dif- 
ficult to protest too 
violently against 

mainstream resis- 
tance to video when 
the mainstream does- 
n't even know what 
video is. If, for 

instance, the New York Times is any measure at 
all, the print media really can't even figure out 
what the difference is between a video and a film. 
This year, Stephen Holden's sympathetic piece 
repeatedly used the word 'film' to describe the 
videotapes he'd seen. It's particularly difficult to 
hold Holden's confusion against him when the so- 
called video he liked the most, Obitani Yuri's The 
Hair Opera, is not only a Super-8 film transferred 
to video, but the filmmaker makes it absolutely 
unmistakable within the piece that he's using 
Super-8. If the festival's programmers prefer, for 
whatever obscure reasons, to elide a crucial dis- 
tinction when it's this obvious, why should the 
press pay any attention? 

The Video Festival's unresisted temptation to 
spotlight numbers of well-known filmmakers 

working in video has, of course, helped to perpetuate this confusion. 
Among this year's crop of film names were a slight Hal Hartley, a first-rate 
Godard, and an Errol Morris. Good arguments could be made for the 
Godard, and perhaps even for the Hartley on experimental grounds, but 
Morris's overproduced Interrotron Stories, the three -part residue of a 
unaired and unfinished network-funded pilot resembling America's Most 
Wanted, doesn't belong in anything calling itself a video festival. Or at 
least such a festival has yet to be invented. Surely by the end of the 
nineties, there will be a Festival of Aborted TV Pilots, hosted, I imagine, 
by Mistress of the Thighmaster Suzanne Somers. 

Why do I think prominent film names help perpetuate the mysterious 
curse on video? Put simply, there's no such animal as a well-known video- 
maker. So guess who steals whose thunder? To go for the allure of celebri- 
ty is understandable, but it's become the universal standard of discrimi- 
nation in our culture. Such a confused and confusing strategy is a tem- 
porizing use of energy better put into educating the public about the rich 
history of a neglected medium. 

Maybe the press can't or won't be educated, and maybe the program- 
mers can't or won't be bothered. But then mightn't the festival be much 
better off transforming itself into something like the New York 
Experimental Film and Video Festival? This would at least separate it 
generically from Big Daddy Festival, which tends to neglect experimental 



The LAPD's longstanding history of brutality and racism is at the center of Canner and Meltzer's State of Emergency: 
Inside the LAPD Courtesy Film Society of Lincoln Center 



Shouldn't the New York Video 
Festival be exactly in the right 
place to make video seem as hip 
as it is, the most conspicuously 
in-your-face, consistently experi- 
mental, consciously politicized 
art form going? 



independent media. 
Video has for some 
time been the primary 
experimental medium 
formally, as MTV glee- 
fully rediscovers every 
three minutes, but it is 
also the primary and 
even natural medium 
for exploring social 
and political issues. 
The fact that video is 
historically based in a 
mode of independent 
production radically 
different from narra- 
tive film often seems 
lost from view up in 
Lincoln Center. This is 
evident from the largely uncritical embrace of a 
predictable and mostly inappropriate festival for- 
mat inherited from Big Daddy. Shouldn't it be 
obvious that experimental work requires experi- 
mental presentation to broaden and deepen its 
inherent appeal and importance? 

A seriously adventurous sense of experimenta- 
tion was missing from the organization of the 
Festival this year. Instead there seemed to be a 
premature willingness to settle into a groove. 
Once again there was little discernible attempt at 
an open call for new work. I have no principled 
objection to encountering video producers whose 
work might have been programmed in the previ- 
ous two years. But in whose service is it that in 
almost every case that new video was weaker than 
yesteryear's choice? George Kuchar's video jot- 
tings, for example, can be hilarious or even oddly moving oddball studies 
of arrested development. One such work whose title I forget (they jostle 
in my memory like gangly boys playing basketball) played the first festival. 
This year Kuchar's noodle -brained The Tower of the Astro-Cyclops was one 
of the eternal pubescent's compulsive efforts that had nowhere to go and 
went there anyway. Which is fine. Kuchar evidently needs to slap togeth- 
er three or four silly numbers before ringing the bell with a winner. Maybe 
he can't tell when he's got one in hand or doesn't care since he is so obvi- 
ously a playaholic, but a curator ought to be able to tell the difference. 

Similarly, Michael O'Reilly's Orion Climbs suffers in comparison with 
his earlier heartfelt Pixel meditation Glass Jaw, which also played the first 
New York Video Festival. Glass Jaw made the most of that primitive toy 
medium's child-like tendency to transmute the mundane into the hallu- 
cinatory. Its fixed-focus was O'Reilly's intense examination of the socio- 
psychic consequences of severe head injuries. This time out Orion Climbs 
makes you wonder if he's been hit over the head with a video toaster. The 
piece is mostly an extended homage to his grandparents tricked out with 
toaster effects and a densely pretentious voiceover, all of which I'd be 
more likely to put up with, given O'Reilly's evident seriousness of pur- 
pose, if he'd have found a subject more engrossing to explore than dear 
old gramps. The recourse to autobiography and family memoirs as a 
grounding for presumed authenticity is a booming genre in U.S. video, 



January /February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 29 



but too often the genre exhibits the tautological limits of identity politics 
rather than its potential for transgressive exploration. "I yam what I yam," 
Popeye said, but he was only a cartoon, wasn't he? 

Regrettably, one unmistakable sign of misdirected programming also 
cropped up this year. Two programs, "New Voices, New Visions" and 
"Turbo Video: HDTV," weighed in under sponsor names like Voyager 
Corporation, Sony, Wired magazine, the Tokyo Broadcasting System, and 
Interval Research Corporation. To blithely accept corporate handouts is 
a more meretricious means of attracting attention to the festival than 
signing on big-name filmmakers — and much more dangerous. To spot- 
light new technology is to buy in. Which is okay so long as you fess up 
that you're in the business of supporting corporate culture. 

Setting aside the dubious provenance of the HDTV and CD-ROM 
programs, among the 10 remaining video programs, I counted no less 
than 1 1 pieces under seven minutes in length, plus another cluster of 10 
to 12 minute videos. Whatever their positive qualities, development by 
definition is extremely unlikely to be one of them. Intensity should be 
their game. 

It does video no great service to sprinkle the programs with such short 
pieces. Inevitably audiences are impatient for the 'real' videos on the pro- 
gram; implicitly such a programming strategy encourages contempt for 
the little dwarfish video, too stunted to stand on its own two feet. 
Audiences wriggle through them, or yawn, or laugh at the 'humor.' Not 
good choices. Better, I suspect, to program a spectacular marathon of 
short pieces, which would undoubtedly draw a sizable and enthusiastic 
audience of videophile experimentalists — and students wishing to size up 
the competition. 

It was refreshing when Dutch artist Pieter Thoenes introduced his 
conceptually-invigorating 10-minute Cyclic by noting that everyone was 
undoubtedly there to see Godard's The Children Play Russian. But why 
shouldn't his piece be allowed its own due space, so that he didn't feel the 
necessity to give way graciously to his own belittling? Godard wasn't 



Sadie Benning's 
Girl Power, one 
of the many 
Pixel videos 
shown at 
the NY Video 
Fest. 

Courtesy Film 
Society of 
Lincoln Center 



L 




there, but Thoenes was. In that case, his video should have been a cen- 
terpiece, not the warm-up. The unpredictable possibilities of direct 
encounters between makers and engaged audiences can be the heart of a 



festival. But here they were stunted by programming choices that inad- 
vertently trivialize interesting work just because they're short. 

The festival's arrested development was reflected in some of the major 
programming choices as well. The self-conscious narcissism that has 
always haunted art video was perceptible in works like The Hair Opera, 
Peggy Ahwesh and Margie Strosser's downbeat Strange Weather, Edin 
Velez's extravaganza Memory, and Ken Kobland's meditative Moscow X. 
In each case the artist either portrayed or exhibited the tendency to 
model complex social realities as a limiting reflection of the self, and in 
each case struck hard against the palpable limits of the self as a spring- 
board for representation. 

For instance, Strange Weather, a Pixel video shot with pointillist passion 
by Peggy Ahwesh, unfortunately dissipates too much of the observant 
rigor of its camerawork by serving up a disconnected series of instantly 
forgettable anecdotes delivered by drearily self-absorbed, middle-class 
young druggies. Dispense with conventional dramatic structure if you 
like — good riddance! We're sick to death of it! — but the more you throw 
overboard, the more your actors need to project character, if you wish to 
prevent your audience from drowning in alternating waves of boredom 
and resentment. Drug-sotted younguns need to be supported by a sce- 
nario perverse or even plotted enough to make us want to watch their 
antics. 

The tendency to dispense with dramatic structure also derailed Velez's 
Memory, which was apparently finished only hours before its premiere at 
the festival. Its self-indulgent incoherence was matched by staggering 
production values. Its putative subject is that weird old narcissist 
Christopher Columbus. Everybody was kicking him around two years ago, 
but Velez props him up yet again to construct extraordinarily elaborate 
tableaux that swirl around him in lavish displays of symbolism and avant- 
gardish spectacle. Velez's Ken Russellesque taste for visionary myth would 
go a lot further if he spent a little of the cash oozing from the mise en 
scene on a knowledgable scriptwriter who would force him to lighten up 

every so often. 

Ken Kobland medi- 
tates with a kind of 
stunned absorption on 
the utterly destroyed 
myth of Soviet Com- 
munism in Moscow X. 
The sequence that 
sticks in my anti-myth- 
ic consciousness occurs 
during an outdoor 
political rally, in which 
Kobland slowly, pains- 
takingly observes the 
anxious exhaustion on 
the faces densely 
crowded about him as 
the speeches drone on 
somewhere off- screen. 
However, Kobland is 
much more content 
telling us what he 
thinks he sees and feels 
than he ever is engaging with the citizens he encounters. As a result his 
essay becomes peculiarly solipsistic, impressing the viewer as much more 
about his own alienation in the great city than it is about the historical 



30 THE INDEPENDENT January /February 1 995 



moment. And given the shattering import of 
what's occurring in Russia, we can't help hut 
become impatient with yet another American 
thinking deep thoughts while the world turns 
upside down. 

The festival rewardingly programmed a 
number of interesting and not so self- referential 
documentaries ranging from Not Channel 
Zero's resolute attempt to de-commodify The 
Legacy of Malcolm to Shelly Silver's detailed 
portrayal of how Berliners currently define 
themselves, Former East/Former West; Folke 
Ryden's bitterly ironic United States of Guns; 
and Elizabeth Canner and Julia Meltzer's State 
of Emergency: Inside the LAPD, a Paper Tiger- 
style look at the Los Angeles Police 
Department's longstanding history of brutality 
and racism. The documentaries on the U.S. 
demonstrate all too bleakly another dimension 
of arrested development, the continued resis- 
tance to political change in a reactionary era. 
Here the festival is aptly performing a necessary 
service. 

Undoubtedly the single most absorbing 
video was Godard's The Children Play Russian, a 
dense and allusive deconstruction of the West's 
exploitative relationship to Russia. For Godard, 
when the West runs out its power of invention, 
it turns to Russia, which he describes as the 
land where fiction was invented. The world- 
wide phenomenon of arrested development, 
which Godard's scenario ironically traces to 
Jack Valenti, figurehead of Hollywood capital, 
can be overcome by reinventing our commit- 
ment to the subjective power of invention. I am 
here horribly abridging the imaginative wealth 
of Godard's scenario in order to return to where 
I started. A festival worth its salt has to rein- 
vent its own terms of engagement. The New 
York Video Festival need not be stalled in its 
current impasse. 

After all, for more than a century, we've 
known that poor Anna Karenina leapt to her 
death under the wheels of an oncoming train. 
In The Children Play Russian Anna reappears at 
the train station in present-day Moscow. I 
instantly became filled with dread as she 
approached the tracks. But this time she does- 
n't throw herself under the train. Surely her 
unprecedented release is some kind of sign that 
even representation doesn't have to be in a per- 
manent state of arrest. 

A writer of fiction as well as a video producer, Ernest 
Larsen has just about completed his new novel, No 

Vacancy. 



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Januarv/Februarv 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 31 



By Patricia Thomson 



North for Senate: 

• •••••••••*•**••*••••*•••••• 

It's being called a nonfiction variant of Nashville, with 
the black humor of Bob Roberts , in the style of The War 
Room, with shades of All the President's Men. It's Semper 
Fi y R.J. Cutler and David Van Taylor's backstage look 
at Oliver North on the campaign trail. 




HO WOULD 

HAVE 

THOUGHT G. 

GORDON 

L I D D Y 

WOULD BE 

OBSESSED 

WITH SEX? AT 

THE NERVE 

CENTER OF 

HIS SYNDI- 
CATED TALK 
RADIO SHOW TACKED UP 
ON THE SOUNDBOOTH 
WALL, IS A TABLOID HEAD- 
LINE: "SEXY D] TURNS ME 
INTO JELLY.'" AND THERE 
THE FORMER WATERGATE 
BURGLAR SITS, SMOOTHLY 
ADMONISHING AN ADMIR- 
ING FAN NOT TO DIDDLE 
HERSELF WHEN SHE LISTENS 
TO HIS VOICE ON THE CAR 
RADIO 

"He's not an ideologue; he's a madman," whispered independent film 
producer R.J. Cutler moments earlier in the lobby of Infinity Broadcasting 
station WJFK in Fairfax, Virginia, where "Mr. Geeeee" as Liddy calls him- 
self, broadcasts daily. 

It's just over two weeks before the election, and today is a special day 
for Liddy. His guest is the Senate challenger from Virginia and Liddy 's 
political soul mate, former Marine lieutenant colonel Oliver North. 

We first spot him on the surveillance monitors, striding down the cor- 
ridor in a crisp blue jacket and tie. Seconds later North is outside the 
soundbooth window, and he quickly spreads his palms against the glass, 
like a Garfield toy suction-cupped onto a car window, grinning goofily. 

Moments later, the Marine anthem trumpets over the airwaves, and 
North and Liddy swing into action, alternating conservative campaign 
rhetoric with phone calls from North's fervent admirers. 

Wedged into the tiny soundbooth is a documentary crew. There's 

32 THE INDEPENDENT January /February 1 995 




camera is 

director of photogra- 
phy Nick Doob, also a 
War Room veteran. 
Handling audio is David 
Van Taylor, producer of 
Dream Deceivers, the 1992 
documentary about the 
trial of heavy metal band 





• ••••••*•*••••••••**••••••••• 

relenting only when North 
put in a good word for them. 
North vouch for Cutler and 
Van Taylor? Two avowed 
Democrats — one linked with 
Clinton through his film and 
the other developing a TV 
series on the history of the 
Religious Right? How did this 
strange endorsement come 
about? 




Judas Priest following the suicide of one of their fans. 

The film is Semper Fi, which the New York-based Van Taylor, 32, and 
L.A.-based Cutler, 33, are coproducing and codirecting on a "Siamese 
twin model." It will be a verite look at the 1994 Virginia Senate race, 
focusing on the most controversial candidate: Oliver North, the former 
national security aide to President Reagan whose claim to fame was his 
central role in the Iran-contra guns-for-hostages affair. They've been 
trailing North since he announced his challenge to Senate incumbent 
Charles Robb in January 1994 and plan to shoot until election day, raise 
additional funds for postproduction in the spring, and release a video-to- 
film transfer next fall or winter, on the cusp of the 1996 presidential pri- 
mary season. 

Cutler had been trying to arrange this shoot with Liddy and North for 
several months. It took some convincing. Liddy initially was disinclined 
to let filmmakers associated with The War Room anywhere near his show, 



DDLY ENOUGH, SEMPER Fl WAS 
CONCEIVED LONG BEFORE 
NORTH announced his candi- 
dacy: it started out as a joke. 
"I had coffee with a college 
friend the day North was sen- 
tenced to community service, 
before his conviction was 
overturned," Van Taylor 
recalls. "This guy said to me, 
'Don't worry. He'll be out of 
there and running for Congress in a few years.'" 

The following year, after a screening of Dream Deceivers at the 
Independent Feature Film Market, "somebody asked me that dreaded 
question, which is, 'So, what are you going to do next?'" Van Taylor 
recalled his friend's remark and quipped, "I'm going to make a film about 
Oliver North running for Congress." This was 1991, over two years before 
North's announcement. 

The IFFM projectionist for Dream Deceivers happened to be Cutler, a 
former Harvard classmate of Van Taylor's. "After Dream Deceivers 
screened, he came down and said, 'I just saw your movie, and it's incred- 
ible,'" Van Taylor recalls. "He went off to USC right after that, and we 
sort of kept in touch." 



January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 33 



Another year passed. The next time they saw each other, Cutler was 
trying to produce a project on the three-way Presidential race. "At that 
point, R.J. was planning to make three films. He was talking to me about 
possibly doing one, he was talking to Joe Berlinger and [Bruce] Sinofsky, 
and he was talking to [Chris Hegedus and D.A.] Pennebaker. And it 
became the one film. ..about the War Room." 

Van Taylor mentioned his idea for the North documentary. "At which 
time, it was just fantasy," he recalls. "Then you flash forward to 1993, 
when, in the interim, the New York Times had done several real stories, 
and I, who had had this idea for two years already, was kicking myself for 
not having gotten anywhere on access." 

Midway through 1993, Cutler and Van Taylor crossed paths again, this 
time at their tenth college reunion. The War Room was finished and 
awaiting release. Cutler asked about the North film. "I said, 'I'm doing so 
much, I let that fall by the wayside,'" Van Taylor recalls, '"and right now, 
I bet it's too late.' He said, 'Come on, it's not too late.' So I said, 'Well, 
look. If you'll do it with me, I'll do it.' And that's when we really started 
in earnest," he says. "And of course we were six to nine months ahead of 
anybody, even though I had this idea so long I thought I'd missed the 




Vintage North (with attorney Brandon "potted plant" Sullivan), in a photo mass-mailed 
along with a plea for campaign contributions. The candidate and his advisors were bank- 
ing on Virginians to vote for him because of Iran-contra, not despite it. 

Courtesy Oliver North 

boat." 

Getting access to North was neither easy nor immediate. "We were 
very up-front," says Van Taylor. "Our first letter said, 'We are liberals, 
but....' We explained we're not in this to nail OHie...but we wanted to 
understand why $9 million in $30 checks was raised" for North's candi- 
dacy so early in the game. (North ultimately spent twice that amount, 
versus Robb's $5 million.) 

Their first meeting with North's handlers was in October — the week- 
end The War Room opened. "We took a gamble," Van Taylor admits, 
"because it could swing one of two ways. One is: 'These guys are obvi- 
ously God-damned liberals. Let's not let them anywhere near us.' Or it 
could be, 'Hey, I'd like to be the star of that movie.'" 

The War Room ended up working both for and against them. Initially 
the response was negative. "In some ways, we had to distinguish ourselves 
from The War Room" explains Van Taylor, "because one of the responses 



from the North camp was, 'We don't want to make a film that glorifies the 
staff' To which we agreed; this is a different film. It's not about the staff; 
it's about North and his relationship to the media, and his relationship 
to his followers, etcetera. Which of course played right into our argu- 
ment that they have to keep giving us more and more access to him." 

The filmmakers used two key arguments to get their foot in the 
door. One was that no one would see the footage before the elec- 
tion, therefore the film could not affect the vote. The second was 
that the candidates would have limited right of review. Like The 
War Room, says Cutler, "We explained to the subjects that we 
considered them a part of the process, that on an important 
level, it's a collaboration.... Our objective was not to catch 
them with their pants down, making mistakes, but to capture 
as honestly as possible who they are. We told them, truthful- 
ly, that when we're in the process of making the film, prob- 
ably at a rough cut point, we will show them the material of 
them and ask for their response to it. And then we'll take it from 
there." 

With that, the door opened — very gradually. By August, Cutler was 
saying, "It's not as though we're sitting in on top-level secret meetings.... 
The control that they exercise is the same control that George 
[Stephanopoulos] and James [Carville] exercised, which has to do with 
when they chose to let us shoot." But gradually, the producers slipped 
their feet in deeper and deeper, until finally they were on the inside of 
closed-door strategy sessions. By October, Van Taylor could boast, "We've 
gotten all the access we want from everybody at this moment." 



vK B I I E HAVE TO BREAK FOR SOME CRASS COMMERCIAL 

V V I ^B ^B MESSAGES," barks Liddy. As the telephone lines 
' silently flash during the break, he and North chat 
about their mutual loathing of National Public 
Radio and Liddy 's media stats. Despite North's 
animosity towards the press, the retired marine 
knows the turf. 

"How are your Arbitron ratings. 7 " North asks. 
"And did you get to NAB this year?" 
"Yeah, we did pretty well. I think we'll pick up several more stations," 
says Liddy, whose program blankets the state of Virginia and is carried by 
199 stations nationally. 

"That's great," says North. "This kind of radio is really the answer to 
the liberal media." 

"The liberal media" is something North supporters hear a lot 
about. On the campaign trail, he rarely lets an opportunity pass without 
lobbing a grenade at "the Washington Compost," "New York Crimes," or 
"Readers' Disgust". He fundraises using his "victimization" by the press. 
He disparages critical editorials as examples of "liberal media bias." In the 
warm-up film before his primary acceptance speech, he includes Sam 
Donaldson and Dan Rather among his foes, alongside Clinton, Robb, 
Jesse Jackson, and Jane Fonda. 

But North's day-to-day relationship with the media is far more 
nuanced than his rhetoric would lead one to believe. 

"The press is obviously a critical player in this campaign," says Cutler. 
"First of all, [North] runs against the media. Yet at the same time, he is 
very dependent on the media for his presentation to the public — of his 




34 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 




rhetoric, 
his vision, his 
nine-point 
crime plan, his 
four-point over- 
all plan. As we 
know from the 

Iran-contra hearings, he is a bit of a master at his uti- 
lization of television." 

Early on in the shooting of Semper Fi, it became clear 
that this relationship would be a central theme. At the 
same time, one reporter stood out in terms of his seniority, his newspaper, 
and his willingness to spar with North. This was Donald L. Baker, a 24- 
year veteran of the Washington Post, who was "in some ways the personi- 
fication of the Liberal Media, which North is constantly bashing and yet 
on whom he totally relies," says Van Taylor. Baker is "a bit of central cast- 
ing," in Cutler's view. "He's brilliant, amusing, an engaging character, and 
he fulfills the need of a filmmaker for a character who's passionate about 
what he does and is doing it extremely well in high-stakes circumstances." 

Furthermore, Baker's newspaper is a favorite target of North. "One of 
the stories he likes to tell," Baker relates, "is that every morning when he 
gets up, he reads the Bible and the Washington Post — so that he can get 
both sides." 

But in Baker's experience, North's bark is worse than his bite with the 
press. His rhetoric "doesn't translate into a different relationship between 
the candidate, the staff, and the media," says the 61 -year-old reporter, 
who covers Virginia's state politics from his base in Richmond. "They're 
professionals. We get along fine. It's pretty much part of his shtick. It's an 
act." 

That might surprise his supporters. So might the amount of joking, 
schmoozing, and bargaining that goes on between North and his pre- 
sumed media foes in Semper Fi. So might any number of scenes, like the 
one with the missing press van, which brought North's caravan to a grind- 
ing halt while five staffers stood on the highway with cellular phones and 
walkie-talkies, frantically try to locate them — the Liberal Media. Or 



North recalling how he phoned Baker after a 
tough debate to say how much he likes 
sparring with him. Or North and Baker 
at dinner, casually arguing about the 
press' negativity. Or Baker explaining 
how, far from conspiring to defeat 
North, the press will "vote the story" 
and "Oliver North is by far the best 
story out there." 
This dynamic between North and 
the press fascinates the filmmakers. 
"The contradiction of bashing 
each other, then going out and hav- 
ing a beer afterwards is quite often 
there [in other campaigns], but the 
contrasts are starker," says Van Taylor. 
"That's why Don Baker wants to be a 
part of this movie. He wants to tell that 
story. It's a story that has been apparent to 
him and any other self-aware political 
journalist for a long time. And here it is, 
writ large." 



iddy pulls a fax from a stack 
of listeners' questions. He's 
BEEN saving this one, and reads 
it with a devilish grin: "Mr. 
North, if you were elected 
President, would you offer G. 
Gordon Liddy a pardon?" 

The two erupt in hoots of 
laughter, then segue into a series of allusions to Bill Clinton soon needing 
such a pardon. The filmmakers don't know it yet, but North is hoping to 
drop a bombshell related to this later that afternoon. 

Reporter Mike Allen from the Richmond Times -Dispatch, the only cam- 
paign reporter attending the radio show, alerts the film crew to a press 
conference North has scheduled immediately afterwards. 

Cutler and Van Taylor had planned to stick around for a short inter- 
view with Liddy, then drop by North's headquarters to pick up a tape of 
his political ads, which media consultant Mike Murphy would later 
review with them. Their hidden agenda was to get invited inside head- 
quarters — one of the only places they hadn't been able to penetrate. 

All those plans are dropped with news of the press conference. 
Moments later, Van Taylor and Doob are running alongside Allen's car, 
equipment ahoist. They jump in as it pulls out of the parking lot, with 
Cutler close behind. 

When you've got a tiger by the tail, you run with it, wherever it 
goes. Flexibility is what enabled the Semper Fi crew to snag and hang on 
to their catch: flexibility, persistence, and a little bit of luck. 

Serendipity played a part when they stumbled on to a direct mail fac- 
tory near one of the campaign stops, which happened to be used by 
North, Newt Gingrich, and other conservatives. Not only that, it was run 
by Jerry Falwell's brother-in-law. "And all of a sudden, says Cutler, "we 
have this 45-minute tour of the heart and soul of Ollie's mass mailing 
operation." 



January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 35 




R.J. Cutler and David Van Taylor at North's press conference in Alexandria, VA, 
on October 20, 1994. Photo: Patricia Thomson 



It also helped salvage 
what began as a disastrous 
day: A travel agent's screw- 
up, compounded by a traffic 
jam, caused them to com- 
pletely miss Robb and North 
at a Labor Day parade and 
campaign kick-off. They ran 
into Murphy, who was 
shooting footage for a North 
ad, tried to latch onto him, 
but he essentially blew them 
off. With eight hours to kill 
until the next event, the dis- 
couraged team shuffled over 
to a local barbecue pit. It 
appeared closed. "Just our luck," they thought, until taking a second look. 
Not only was it open, but there was Murphy, eating lunch. 

They scored. "We sat down and had lunch with him, and he told us 
incredible stories," recalls Van Taylor of Murphy's first-hand accounts of 
the Bush '88 campaign and Christy Todd Whitman's run for Governor of 
New Jersey. "So we seized the opportunity and hopped into Murphy's car 
afterwards, and had a very good car interview/conversation with him." 

Murphy admitted he had initially been lined up against them. "He 
revealed that he was one of the big guys many moons ago saying 'Pull the 
plug on these documentary guys,'" Van Taylor recalls. "It was clear from 
the way he was telling it that we had made a major breakthrough with 
him, which translated into a pretty important breakthrough with the 
campaign." 

This unexpected encounter began paying off the very next night, at 
one of the official, four-way debates between candidates North, Robb, L. 
Douglas Wilder, and J. Marshall Coleman. The film crew was treated 
essentially as insiders, allowed backstage to film Merritt, Murphy, and 
Mark Goodin, North's chief strategist who later became a central figure 
in their shoots, as they watched and critiqued the televised proceedings. 

A shift in attitude was taking place among the candidates and their 
staffs as a sense of investment in the film was gradually crowding out 
whatever suspicions or doubts were previously felt. North was heard 
referring to the filmmakers as "my crew." His willingness to allow the 
documentary team ever closer owed to several factors, in Don Baker's 
view. The film "appeals to North's ego," the reporter commented during 
the campaign's final weeks. "And I suspect he thinks he'll come off as a 
softer kind of guy. Assuming he wins, he'll want to enlarge his reach 
beyond a kind of fanatical core of supporters, and he sees this [film] as an 
implement of that." 

Meanwhile, North's men started suggesting where the wireless mike 
should go and what their film might be. Murphy, for instance, argued that 
a film about "pointed-headed fundamentalists for North" would be less 
interesting than one that looks at North's appeal to people like him: a 
Georgetown graduate, Beltway insider, communications consultant — 
part of the intellectual elite, in fact. 

Increased access, the filmmakers were finding, was a double-edged 
sword. In some ways, control was exercised not by keeping them out, but 
by inviting them in, closer and closer. 

Which leads one to ask: Were they being used? Cutler admits it's a 
question they've been thrashing out since day one. So how do they 
respond? 

"We say, 'Gosh, are we?' And we look at what we're doing, and we 



have long talks," Cutler says. 
"Look, the movie is going to be 
a reflection of the experience 
we've had over the course of 
the year. We're seeing a lot of 
other things: The campaign of 
Lt. Col. Oliver North for the 
Senate [and] the campaign of 
his opponents. We're seeing an 
environment of an electrified, 
conservative voting populace. 
We're seeing a figure like G. 
Gordon Liddy, one of North's 
most ardent supporters, utilize 
the very media that North crit- 
icizes to generate support for 
him throughout the state of Virginia, where his radio show is enormous- 
ly popular. We're seeing the Washington Post and Don Baker and their rela- 
tionship to the campaign. So ultimately I don't worry that we're making 
a propaganda piece for North, on any level." 

As Van Taylor explains it, "I think Oliver North will probably look at 
the film and say, 'This is a fair and a good representation of me, and I 
think it will show me off well to my followers or potential followers.' And 
I think people who are opponents of Oliver North will say, 'This is a fair 
and a good representation of Oliver North, and it demonstrates all of his 
flaws and contradictions that he represents for our culture.'" 

Maintaining a stance of neutrality and credibility with their sub- 
jects is one reason why the filmmakers never took a partisan route when 
fundraising. They didn't see Semper Fi as a way to "get" North and never 
pitched it that way. Instead, their efforts to finance their film — projected 
to run somewhere under $600,000 — proceeded just like any other docu- 
mentary. Meaning it's been a long, hard road. North's defeat — while 
blessedly good for many reasons — won't make this process any easier. 

Their credits on The War Room and Dream Deceivers opened doors, but 
not checkbooks. A few weeks before election day, the Semper Fi war chest 
was empty, though there were some live prospects. They'd gotten this far 
through the usual no-budget production route: travel and equipment 
expenses paid out of pocket; no salaries; partially deferred fees for cam- 
eramen Nick Doob and Doug Block and the trailer's editor; plus a dona- 
tion of Hi8 and Beta tape stock from Sony. 

"We're putting together the necessary pieces," Cutler said during the 
summer, "and the ones we don't have to pay for, we don't, and the ones 
we do, we do. The credit cards are maxed out. Diner's Club remains con- 
vinced that the check is on its way. Until they wise up, we'll be able to 
cover some costs. But isn't it like that for everybody?" He pauses. "I hope 
it [isn't], and somebody lets us in on the secret." 

Gains were being made on several fronts, however. Cutler managed to 
snag a no-interest loan of $50,000 from a "concerned wealthy industrial- 
ist." But the paperwork and delivery schedule were dragging on; three 
weeks before the election, the check was still rumored to be in the mail. 

There was also a deal being negotiated with ABC's Prime Time Live. 
The filmmakers balked at allowing the network to show their unedited 
footage on election night — ABC's initial goal. They ultimately negotiat- 
ed a $10,000 agreement to broadcast an excerpt when the film is done. 

Most significantly, the filmmakers were also hammering out a presale 
agreement with Universal Pictures — a process that took over four 
months, dramatically concluding on election night. The deal began with 



36 THE INDEPENDENT January /February 1 995 



a cold call. In between shoots, the filmmakers were sending out feelers in 
every direction, meeting with Jonathan Demme, sex, lies, videotape pro- 
ducer Nick Wexler, and others. Cutler also sent a letter to Norman Lear, 
which began, "Help!" 

He did. Lear brought the project to the attention of Tom Pollock, chair 
of MCA/Universal Motion Picture Group, who became interested, along 
with Zanne Devine and Russell Schwartz of Universal subsidiary 
Gramercy Pictures. (The studio's bean-counters, however, were less than 
enthusiastic about taking on a documentary — an unprecedented move 
for the company.) The advance the studio initially offered was in the low- 
to mid-six-figure range for North American rights — very enticing to 
Cutler and Van Taylor, who had tapped out their personal savings. But it 
was a risky proposition, since Universal was not willing to commit to the- 
atrical prior to the film's completion and the universe ot distributors who 
handle only theatrical is relatively small. 

"Theatrical distribution for independent documentaries is not a big 
bread-winning proposition by itself. The reason most people do it," Van 
Taylor explains, "is because they get a bunch of rights bundled with it, the 
theatrical raises the value of the other rights, and it all comes out in the 
wash." 

"Our objective is to have the movie in theaters and to pay the bills," 
says Cutler. "We're willing to take a risk; we took a big risk with The War 
Room. Our advance on The War Room was not a large amount of money, 
but the distributors did a great job with it and as a result, the money came 
in. That's great. But the deal with Universal had to be structured in a way 
that the possibility tor theatrical distribution realistically exists." 

The final deal, closed in Virginia by conference call just as the election 
results were being reported and filmed, provides the filmmakers with an 
advance they are "very happy with," reports Cutler. It includes in-kind 
postproduction services, and, "It addresses everyone's concerns about 
theatrical release in a very flexible way that's allowing us to sleep easy at 
night," says Cutler. "This way, if everything works out, we'll definitely be 
able to achieve our original goals: having it exhibited in theaters and 
keeping the folks at Diners Club happy." Now with Universal signed on, 
they're in a good position to move ahead with additional fundraising, tar- 
geting foreign sales prospects and private investors. 

A FEW DOZEN REPORTERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE MILLING 
ABOUT ON THE fifth floor of the Hilton in Alexandria, 
Virginia, waiting for North to arrive at his press confer- 
ence. Van Taylor and Doob slide among them, hovering 
near Kent Jenkins, a Washington Post reporter, and Mike 
Allen, who writes many of the campaign "color pieces" 
for the Richmond Times -Dispatch. The reporters seem 
fairly adept at ignoring the boom and camera a few feet 
away. But the rest of the press corps is watching, if only 
out of the corner of their eye. 
Baker acknowledges that there has been a fair amount of curiosity 
among the press about the shoot. But more importantly for the filmmak- 
ers, "There's been a welcoming attitude," Baker says, adding, "They're 
good at it. They're as unobtrusive as you can be with those huge imple- 
ments they carry around. And they are nonjudgmental about things. 
They don't talk about what they're doing; they don't express what their 
feelings are. They're going about it as cinematic journalists." 

Baker confides, "I think one of the things that everybody has been sur- 
prised at is the access that David and R.J. have had with North." 



That day the producers made even more headway after the press con- 
ference. North had scheduled it in order to assert publicly that President 
Clinton had made an illegal quid-pro-quo offer to Douglas Wilder, who 
had dropped out of the Senate race some weeks before. On the basis of 
one article in the arch-conservative Washington Times, North accused 
Clinton of offering Wilder a roving ambassadorship in Africa in exchange 
for throwing his support behind Robb. (Both the White House and 
Wilder flatly denied the report, and the story was soon overtaken by other 
news events, including North's silence about the drug-running on his 
contra supply planes and Nancy Reagan's attack on her husband's former 
employee.) 

After fielding a few questions from the press, North was whisked down 
the hall to a conference room, closely followed by a pack of reporters. 
None were able to get into the conference room — but the Semper Fi crew 
did. 

When they emerged, Cutler could barely contain himself. Though 
nothing exceptional had occurred with North, they had been invited to 
shoot in North headquarters, one of the few places they hadn't been able 
to penetrate. More than a tour, Merritt was going to let them attend a real 
strategy session, where, it ended up, they discussed truly sensitive issues, 
including how and when to play the race card and what to do about that 
troublesome report on drug-running in North's cargo planes. 

All in all, it was a good day. 

fOSTSCRIPT: November 9, election day: Back in January 
1994, Van Taylor and Cutler named their operation 
Arpie Productions, which stands for R.R, or "rat's 
patootie." The reference is to a line New York Times 
reporter Maureen Dowd quoted when North declared 
his candidacy: "Mr. North believes that as far as Iran- 
contra goes, 'most people don't give a rat's patootie.'" 
North was wrong; enough people did care to deny 
him the Senate seat. He was one of the only 
Republicans who didn't ride the tidal wave that crashed over and trans- 
formed the political landscape of Washington, D.C. Ultimately, pundits 
concluded that North's Achilles heel was his character. As Robb memo- 
rably summed it up on election eve: Oliver North is "a document-shred- 
ding, Constitution-trashing, Commander-in-Chief-bashing, Congress- 
thrashing, uniform- shaming, Ayatollah-loving, arms-dealing, criminal- 
protecting, resume-enhancing, Noriega-coddling, Social Security-threat- 
ening, public school-denigrating, Swiss bank-law-breaking, letter-faking, 
self-serving, election-losing, snake oil salesman who can't tell the differ- 
ence between the truth and a lie." 

But this is surely not the last we'll hear of Oliver North, nor of his sup- 
porters: the military, the gun lobby, the right-to-lifers, the Religious Right, 
the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells, the Republican Presidential aspi- 
rants, like Robert Dole and Dan Quayle, and the rising tide of bitter, anti- 
government, conservative voters. When Semper Fi is released later this 
year, we'll see this potent mix all over again — both on the screen, and 
across the nation, as conservatives gear up for the '96 campaign. 

Patricia Thomson is editor of The Independent. 



*••••••••••••• 



January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 37 



By Robert L . Seigel 



Lcga/Briefc 




I 




asting is crucial to a film, 

whether it's produced on a 

shoestring or with a 

megabudget. But casting 

may pose significant prob- 
lems for the no-budget 

independent who wants 

to expand the potential 
talent pool to include Screen Actors' 
Guild (SAG) members. 

Guild members are prohibited 
from appearing in non-SAG films, so 
to hire SAG talent, producers must 
become signatories to SAG's Producer-Screen 
Actors' Guild 1992 Codified Basic Agreement. 
Producers often balk at becoming SAG signato- 
ries: on budgets significantly below $500,000, they 
frequently cannot afford to accommodate the reg- 
ulations on compensation, work schedule, and 
benefits. For these micro-budget films, there is 
SAG's Limited Exhibition Agreement (LEA), 
which applies solely to independently conceived 
and produced motion pictures not intended for 
national theatrical release, "straight-to-video," 
commercial television broadcast, or cablecast. 

Feature films produced under the LEA must be 
budgeted under $200,000 excluding deferrals and 
must not exceed $500,000 including deferrals. 
Accordingly, a producer may employ both SAG 
and non-SAG performers. (It should be noted that 
SAG agreements also cover professional, non- 
SAG performers from such unions as Equity and 
AFTRA.) 

Minimum performer rates under the LEA are 
set on a per day basis. The agreement specifies 
rates of $100 per day or $225 for three days. 
Additional days are $75 per day. Producers are not 
required to pay SAG performers for any "off days" 
during the course of shooting. However, perform- 
ers must be paid for any day the producer wishes 
to hold that talent available. The LEA waives pro- 
ducers from having to pay performers premium 
rates for weekend or holiday shooting. 

Although these provisions appear relatively 
straightforward, there are problematic issues to 
bear in mind. The LEA is not available for West 




To LEA, or not to LEA: that is the question. 

WANTED: 

GUILD 

ACTORS AT A 

DISCOUNT 

Navigating 

SAG's Limited 

Exhibition 

Agreement 



Coast productions with budgets exceeding 
$100,000 excluding deferrals and $250,000 
including deferrals and running times of over 60 
minutes. SAG spokesperson Harry Medved says 
SAG/West believed too many West Coast genre 
films were violating the terms and spirit of the 
LEA, an arrangement originally designed to assist 
emerging filmmakers and non-mainstream pro- 
jects. Medved said most films longer than 60 min- 
utes are generally produced with some kind of 
commercial exploitation in mind that would be 
beyond the parameters of the agreement. 

Producers must also grapple with explicit 
provisions in the LEA stating that it is intended 



for "independently conceived 
motion pictures of a creative/exper- 
imental nature." The LEA does not 
specify how SAG determines if a 
film is sufficiently creative or exper- 
imental; SAG evaluates each on a 
case-by-case basis. 

According to Sallie Weaver, 
SAG/East's Executive Adminis- 
trator for Theatrical and Television 
Contracts, the LEA "was intended 
to allow young filmmakers and per- 
formers to learn together or to 
experiment with different kinds of 
cameras and shooting styles. It's 
obviously a fluid concept, since 
something may be experimental the 
first time it is tried [such as the use 
of improvisation or black and white 
photography], but it is no longer so 
the tenth time, when it can then 
have commercial potential." 
Ideal LEA eligibility means "a pro- 
ject without commercial potential," Weaver 
explains. "We're not looking to undercut our Low- 
Budget Agreement for features. Our goal is for 
producers to raise [at least] enough money to 
shoot under the Low Budget Agreement." If a 
film's budget under the LEA exceeds $200,000, 
the producer is obligated to pay all performers any 
additional monies necessary to bring the film into 
compliance with the minimum rates and terms 
under the SAG Low-Budget Agreement, which is 
intended for commercial-venture films with maxi- 
mum budgets of $1.75 million. If the film's cost 
exceeds $1.75 million, then rates and terms under 
the SAG Basic Agreement apply. However, 
Weaver cautioned that the additional payments to 
all performers do not assure a producer's film 
exhibition beyond the LEA's scope. "They're two 
different issues that are handled separately," she 
notes. 

LEA producers may release their films for 
either nontheatrical exhibition for non-paying 
audiences; semi-theatrical exhibition with film 
societies; and limited run exhibition in "showcase 
theaters" (i.e., "runs of up to two weeks in 'art 
houses' and small audience theaters"). The LEA 
provides a list of what they consider showcase the- 
aters, including New York's Film Forum, San 
Francisco's Roxy, Washington, D.C.'s Biograph, 
and others. 

If a LEA film has a theatrical run that exceeds 
two weeks at a showcase theater or is released at a 
regular commercial theater, Weaver advises film- 
makers to approach SAG ahead of time to discuss 



38 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



the issue. "We want to support the filmmaking 
experience," she says. "The Guild has to look at 
ways of dealing with this situation by taking into 
account what threat is posed by the situation to 
the spirit of the LEA and to the Guild's perform- 
ers in a film." 

Signatories to the LEA do not have to pay non- 
SAG performers the rates stated under the agree- 
ment. However, it a film violates the LEA (e.g. 
exceeding the budget restriction), it may then 
come under the SAG Low-Budget Agreement. 
SAG would in turn be obligated under labor law to 
negotiate on behalf of all performers, regardless of 
their affiliation with the Guild. The result: a 
requirement to pay all performers the rates 
required under the Low-Budget or Basic 
Agreements. 

If a LEA film traveling the festival circuit snags 
a distributor, it may overstep the agreement's 
scope. "The producer is only permitted to distrib- 
ute in certain markets," Weaver says. "Once a film 
goes beyond those markets, payment is owed to 
the performers [that is more than] the rates under 
the LEA. SAG members are free to negotiate any 
amount of money above minimum scale under the 
Low-Budget or Basic Agreements when the film 
obtains distribution." 

In this case producers are required to renegoti- 
ate only with SAG and other professional per- 
formers and need not renegotiate with the non- 
professional talent. 

Theoretically, a SAG performer may object to 
distribution of a film beyond the scope of the LEA. 
"Then that project could go no further," Weaver 
says. "A performer can also say, 'I want $4,000 for 
any distribution beyond the LEA." However, she 
adds, most SAG members are pleased their work 
might be seen by a larger audience. SAG perform- 
ers may agree to SAG scale payment under the 
Basic Agreement or to a percentage of the distrib- 
utor's receipts. In some cases, SAG will negotiate 
with the producer and distributor to have some of 
these monies paid as receipts are generated. One 
scenario is for payment up front of half the money 
owed, with the remainder (including residuals) to 
be paid directly from the distributor's receipts to 
SAG cast members. 

Producers and SAG performers cannot negoti- 
ate in advance for the possibility of a film going 
beyond the LEA parameters. "If you're doing that, 
you're not within the scope of the LEA, in which 
the actors are agreeing to work for these extraor- 
dinarily substandard wages," Weaver says. 
Therefore, any time a producer surpasses the 
scope of the LEA, he or she must renegotiate with 
the SAG performers and SAG. If a film is distrib- 
uted beyond the boundaries of the LEA and the 
SAG performers are not willing to renegotiate, 



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there is the possibility of the parties going into 
arbitration to seek a remedy, which may include 
SAG exercising a lien against the film. "The reali- 
ty," Weaver says, "is that the film is a mutual ven- 
ture, and it's very seldom that it doesn't work out, 
but that's the risk of using the LEA. The best way 
to handle this situation is to come to SAG ahead 
of time and say 'These are our possibilities. What 
does the Guild see as a way to deal with this?'" 

Methods of distribution permitted under the 
LEA include educational, public broadcast, non- 
commercial basic cable, and non-pay channel 
exhibition. Weaver explains that such distribution 
includes broadcast on PBS for films conceived and 
produced independently of PBS (otherwise, the 
SAG PBS Agreement applies). LEA projects can- 
not be aired on a regular dramatic series, such as 
Great Perfomiances, but can be included in acqui- 
sition showcase series for independent producers. 
If a film is aired on basic or pay cable, then SAG 
performers must be paid at minimum television 
scale under the SAG Television Agreement. 

Under the LEA, producers may also self-dis- 
tribute videocassettes at festivals, markets, and in 
a filmmaker's own community. However, if a film 
under the LEA is sold in videocassette form 
through a third party distributor, then SAG per- 
formers must be paid the minimum SAG scale 
under its Television Agreement, which is also 
applicable to "straight-to-video" films. 

Once a LEA has been granted, a producer must 
post a security deposit with SAG prior to rehearsal 
or production. This requirement protects the per- 
formers and SAG against default by the producer 
of his or her obligations under the LEA. The 
amount of the security deposit is not fixed but 
depends on such factors as the number of per- 
formers in a film, their salaries, the length of 
employment, the proposed cast list, and a film 
company's prior payroll performance. SAG's 
Board of Directors has required that signatory pro- 
ducers offer a security deposit of no less than two 
weeks' worth of cast salaries and a total security 
deposit or bond of no less than 45 percent of the 
total cast budget. This rule can force producers to 
allocate sufficient funds both to cover the deposit 
and pay the performers during production. "The 
goal of a security deposit is not just to protect 
salaries but also to cover any claims for overtime 
and violations of the agreement and damages due 
to those violations," Weaver says. 

Under the LEA, SAG performers may work 
eight consecutive hours per day with overtime at 
3/16 (time and a half)- SAG performers may not 
work in excess of 12 hours during any 24-hour 
period. Producers are also required to make a con- 
tribution to the Producer-SAG Pension ck Health 
(PckH) plan in an amount equal to 12.65 percent 



40 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



of the total compensation earned by the per- 
former. If the cost of a film oversteps the LEA min- 
imum, a producer's PckH contribution must be 
increased commensurately. 

If a SAG performer works for a non-SAG sig- 
natory producer, it is the SAG member who is 
liable tor penalties and fines, suspension, or even 
expulsion from the Guild as determined by a com- 
mittee of the SAG performing membership. 

SAG members may invest in a film, but such an 
investment may not be a condition for the actor's 
employment. In addition, SAG members may not 
defer their minimum compensation under any 
SAG agreement. Therefore, deferrals of SAG min- 
imum rates that could be triggered for acquisition 
by a distributor or until a certain date are not per- 
mitted by the Guild. 

Sometimes a distributor, upon acquiring a LEA- 
covered film and thereby 'upgrading' its status, will 
assume the costs of compensating the SAG talent 
according to minimum Basic Agreement terms. 
Such was the case with director Charles Lane's 
black and white silent film, Sidewalk Stories, which 
was picked up by Island Pictures. 

SAG has experimented with some less stringent 
deals. In the case of Michael de Avilas' Bumzy's 
Last Call and Wayne Chesler's Hotel Manor Inn, 
the producers agreed to pay at least 60 percent of 
the low-budget scale to the cast. They also agreed 
to double the residual rate — to 7.2 percent — of 
any distributors' gross receipts payable on a 
deferred basis as they are received. "There was a 
groundswell of privately-financed projects from 
young independent producers that didn't qualify 
for the LEA and didn't have the money to produce 
under the Low-Budget Agreement," Weaver says. 

However, she cautions that the deals struck 
between these producers and SAG were waivers 
specifically for those films. Any continuation of 
this experimental plan is subject to SAG's evalua- 
tion of the results, if and when the films acquire 
distribution. 

Producers seeking a LEA should approach 
SAG's theatrical contracts department and submit 
a film's script with a detailed production budget at 
least two months in advance of principal photog- 
raphy. 

It is encouraging that SAG has taken steps 
toward providing a flexible arrangement for "no- 
budget" filmmakers. The Guild must protect its 
members, but must also take into account the 
changing realities of the marketplace. After all, 
the new independent film scene has resulted in 
the success and release of low-budget films often 
featuring the union's own membership. 

Robert L. Seigel is a NYC entertainment attorney and a 
principal in the Cinema Film Consulting company. Robert 
L. Seigel is a NYC entertainment attorney and a principal 
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In Focus 




B..I..I.9 .NATH AN C . H A MILTON 



Adobe's Latest Premiere 



ince its initial release in 1991, 
Adobe Premiere, a nonlinear 
editing program for Mac- 
intosh (and now Windows), 
has built the largest user base 
of desktop editors in the 
industry. Its latest release, 
version 4.0.1, makes Pre- 
miere even more valuable as 
a resource for independents. 
Like other nonlinear edit- 
ing systems, Premiere func- 
tions as an audiovisual word 
processor. Once images and 
sounds are input into high 
capacity memory devices, they can be easily 
arranged and rearranged. Premiere is one of the 
most affordable nonlinear editing programs, cost- 
ing only about $500. For users who are starting 
from scratch, hardware costs can add an addition- 
al $5,000 to $20,000 [see sidebar p. 45]. A basic 
system includes a high-end Macintosh Quadra or 
Power PC; a video capture card such as Radius 
VideoVision Studio; and a large storage device, 
most often a hard disk array. 

Premiere will only broaden its base with the 
solid improvements offered in version 4.0.1. Some 
of the changes are technical, such as the introduc- 
tion of a true 29.97fps frame rate. The Premiere 
development team has also been highly responsive 
to user feedback. As a result, editing tools have 
been expanded, and a new command window can 
be customized for each user. Editors can now orga- 
nize clips in an infinite array of folders within the 
"Project Window," which amounts to a digital trim 



bin. A new trimming window allows editors to eas- 
ily nudge the transition frames at the intersection 
of clips. And time code can now be read optically 
from video images with time code burn-in. 

Multimedia Independents 

Premiere has attracted producers from diverse 
backgrounds, in contrast to integrated editing sys- 
tems like AVID, whose users tend to come specif- 
ically from film and tele- 
vision back- 



grounds. "Many 
Premiere users 
have experience in 
graphic arts and 
other areas, so 
everyone seems to 
bring new approaches 
to the software," says 
Mark Pace of Synapse 
Media in Seattle, 
who teaches cours- 
es in Premiere. 
Since the software 
allows users to easily 
incorporate many dif- 
ferent source ele- 
ments, "People are 
weaving image and 
text, so that each frame 
is composed like a print 
design," comments Pace. 
"The more 1 get into it, 
the more I am interested 
in productions that blend 
many layers of images 
together." 

Many people use 
Premiere for short-form 
editing, in the 30-second to 
five -minute range. Kristin Harris, for instance, is 
an independent animator and producer in 
Northern Virginia who came to Premiere from a 
background in painting. Her animation sequences 
have been used by Voice of America television, 
instructional documentaries, and public televi- 
sion's The American Experience. "I focus on short, 



5-to-15 second animation pieces that I create [at 
home] using After Effects, a 2-D compositing and 
animation program. I then use Premiere to create 
longer edits by combining the short sequences." 
For Harris, a "longer edit" is three to four minutes. 
Indeed, the definition of "long-form" edits seems 
to have changed in today's multimedia environ- 
ment. "Few customers 




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"Most people showing interest in Premiere are 
small- to medium-sized production companies 





42 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



who have little experience and have no idea of 
where to go, since Mac places have little idea 
about the requirements for video," explains 
Nicholas La Galle of the Image Vision Design 
Studio in Blackburn, Australia. "In Australia, dig- 
ital video is just taking off," continues La Galle. "I 
am currently setting up a 
bureau service." Producers 
using La Galle's bureau will 
be able to enjoy the benefits 
of nonlinear editing with- 
out extensive investment 
in equipment. The film- 
maker drops off his or her 
footage marked with the 
appropriate timecodes. 
An operator then cap- 
tures the selected 
footage to disk at a 
high resolution and 
creates working low- 
resolution files called 
"miniatures", which 
the producer then 
takes to edit on his 
or her own com- 
puter. When that's 
done, the produc- 
er returns with an 
edit decision list 
which is 

reassembled and 
output to tape with La 
Galle's higher-end system. 

Off-line with Premiere 

Some editors are using Premiere for the conven- 
tional purpose of creating an edit decision list for 
use in an on-line edit. This may be the greatest 
immediate promise Premiere offers to indepen- 
dents. 

Northern Virginia producer Tom Davenport is 
an independent filmmaker who had been grinding 
out films for over two decades using a Frezzolini 
16mm camera, a battered Nagra, and a Steenbeck 
with one of the two audio tracks inoperable. "Film 
has always the most reliable and flexible format," 
Davenport explains. "I always avoided video pro- 





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ductions, because I wanted to avoid the expense 
and nuisance of linear editing." 

That changed a couple of years ago. I arrived to 
work with Davenport as editor 
of a 



Super 16mm and recorded sound using time code 
DAT, we will eventually matchback to the film 
negative and edit the sound digitally. 

Davenport Films is not alone in using Premiere 
for long off-line edits. Harlan Reiniger, an assistant 
director and editor at WGBH in 
Boston, 




documentary 
series on media literacy. 

We knew the series would be too expensive to pro- 
duce in film, because it required a variety of source 
materials. Nonlinear editing was the natural 
choice. 1 had previously worked with Premiere 1.0, 
but did not consider it appropriate for any stage of 
a broadcast production. We ordered a low-end 
AVID system, but then reneged — the cost was 
simply too high. 

We settled on Adobe Premiere once 2.0 was 
released with time-code capability. Whereas an 
AVID would have offered a single -purpose editing 
system, Premiere functioned as one component of 
a larger Macintosh environment that also includ- 
ed word processing, design, and photo imaging. 
Adobe's various programs, like PhotoShop and 
Quark Express, are all compatible with Premiere. 
We used our single Macintosh Quadra to com- 
plete the off-line edit of the media literacy series, 
write and layout an illustrated study guide, and 
create full-color videocassette box covers. 

Davenport sold his Frezzolini and Steenbeck 
for a mere $700 each. While he laments the loss of 
film and mag track texture between his fingers, he 
estimates that he is editing up to at least three 
times faster than in the past. We are now using 
Premiere to edit a feature film. Having shot on 



began using Premiere 

when he needed to recut a British program for 
domestic broadcast on Nova. "We were trying to 
find a cheap way to cut some new acquisitions," 
says Reiniger, who normally edits with an AVID. 
He found that Premiere 3.0 was not always up to 
the task. In particular, Reiniger had trouble com- 
piling long previews for review by producers. He 
ultimately used Premiere to create segments that 
required special image processing, then imported 
the effects to an AVID. 

Reiniger sees great promise in Premiere. 
"Premiere has its own advantages, such as almost 
unlimited audio tracks and special effects," he 
argues. "Things like timeline editing are seeping 
from the Quicktime world into the AVID and 
other systems. Premiere is an editing interface that 
crosses many boundaries, and it is becoming so 
widespread that it is important to know." 



Jonathan C. Hamilton was a Beta tester for Premiere 

3.0 and 40 and now offers seminars and consultations 

on nonlinear editing. His latest production is Into the 

Russian Winter, a documentary shot on location in 

Belarus and Russia. He lives in Arlington, Virginia. 



44 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



DIGITAL EDITI>4< 
EQUIPMENT: 

THE MINIMUM REQUIREME 



Computer: $2,500 to $5,500 

Macintosh Power-PC or Quadra-class comput- 
er. Adobe recommends a minimum of 16MB 
RAM, which is standard on the more powerful 
computers. 

Storage devices: $1,000 

Hard disk arrays are the fastest choice for stor- 
age. A 1GB disk array will allow the capture 
and editing of about 35 to 40 minutes for 
footage at 30fps and average-to-best resolution. 

Monitors: $500 to $1,000 each 

There are so many windows in digital editing 
software that it is a near necessity to have more 
than one monitor. A standard computer moni- 
tor is useful for the main monitor. The second 
monitor connects directly to the video capture 
card. A high resolution composite monitor is 
preferable, but a second computer monitor will 
suffice. 

Input Devices: $200 

Video decks can be with or without timecode. 
Any cheap VHS player will do, though more 
professional uses will require a higher end deck. 
Any audio device such as a CD player can be 
fed into the system as well. 

Software: $500 

Adobe Premiere 4-0.1 is the basic software. 
Other "plug-ins" may be added. For instance, 
the $99 Abbate Video VTK Remote allows the 
Mac to read the timecode from an address track 
tape deck. Some other accessories are helpful, 
such as a disk defragmentation utility. 

Backup storage device (optional): $1,200 

Devices such as DAT can easily store several 
Gigabytes of data, backing up 1GB in about two 
hours. This allows users to backup their hard 
drive or archive their material for future work. 

Video capture card (optional): $4,500 

Newer Macs include an internal video capture 
card. For serious users, Radius Videovision 
Studio has been the card of choice as an addi- 
tion to the internal capability. It offers 60-field, 
30fps input and output through a convenient 
patch bay. Be sure to check compatibility of the 
card with your computer. Some cards are not 
ready for the new Power PC or Quicktime 2.0. 

Audio card (optional) 

For CD -quality sound, invest in a 16-bit sound 
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January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 45 



By Kathryn Bowser 



festivals 




■ 




festival list- 
ings do not 
constitute an 
fivf endorse- 
ment, since 
some details 
may change after 
the magazine goes 
to press, we recom- 
mend that you contact the 
festival for further informa- 
tion before sending tapes or 
prints to improve our reliabil- 
ity and make this column more 
beneficial to independents, we 
encourage all film and videomakers to con- 
tact fivf with personal festival experiences. 

Domestic 

ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL, July, NY. Sponsored by Asian 
Cine Vision, noncompetitive fest, founded in 1978, is 
country's oldest showcase for works by Asian 6k 
Asian-American filmmakers. Films produced, direct- 
ed ck/or written by artists of Asian heritage eligible. 
Features 6k shorts in all cats accepted. Entries origi- 
nally produced in film only; no video-to-film trans- 
fers. Asian-American Media Award to honor film- 
maker. Last yr fest added market 6k children's pro- 
gramming sections. After NY run, fest begins 10-mo. 
tour of N. America. Previous editions have show- 
cased films from US, Canada, Australia, UK, 
Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, China, 
Iran. Formats: 35mm, 16mm; preview on cassette. 
Deadline: March 1. Contact: Asian American Int'l 
Film Festival, Asian Cine Vision, 32 E. Broadway, 4th 
fl., NY, NY 10002; (212) 925-8685; fax: (212) 925- 
8157. 

ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM 6k VIDEO 
FESTIVAL, May 5-12, OH. Now in 22nd yr, one of 
older tests in US focusing on ind. film. Last yr's com- 
petition received 305 entries; 84 were chosen for 
public screening. Fest looks for works "that evidence 
a high regard for artistic innovation, sensitivity to 
content 6k personal involvement w/ the medium." 
Entries must have been completed during or since 
1993. Each entry pre-screened in entirety by panel of 
filmmakers, videomakers 6k other artists associated 
w/ Athens Center for Film 6k Video. $20,000 in cash, 
equipment 6k prod, services awarded to competition 
winners by panels of judges comprised of festival 
guest artists. Entry fee: $25 plus pre-paid return ship- 
ping/insurance. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2"; 
preview on cassette for all formats. Deadline: Feb. 10 
(film); Jan. 27 (video). Contact: Ruth Bradley, direc- 
tor, Athens International Film 6k Video Festival, PO 
Box 388, Athens, OH 45701; (614) 593-1330; fax: 
(614) 593-1328; email: rbradley(g ohiou.edu. 

CAROLINA FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, March 
29-April 1, NC. Now in 5th yr at Univ. of North 
Carolina-Greensboro, fest showcases "works of ind. 
artistry 6k personal vision." Works in all genres 6k cats 
accepted, incl. animation, doc, experimental 6k nar- 



rative, as well as works falling outside trad. cats. Last 
yr over 55 works screened in competition. Awards 
expected to match or exceed last yr's $2,500 in cash 
6k film stock. Entry fee $15 for students, $25 others. 
Formats accepted incl. 16mm, S-8, 3/4", SVHS, 
VHS. Deadline: Feb. 15. Contact: Michael 
Fnerson/David Gatten, Broadcasting/Cinema Di- 
vision, 100 Carmichael Bldg., UNCG, Greensboro, 
NC 27512-5001; (910) 334-5360. 

CHARLOTTE FILM 6k VIDEO FESTIVAL, May, 
NC. Sponsored by Cablevision or Charlotte, fest is 
one of larger ind. film fests in Southeast. Cash awards 
to ind. filmmakers. Screening locations incl. Spirit 
Sq. Ctr. for the Arts, Public Library of Charlotte 6k 
Mecklenburg County, Afro-American Cultural 
Center Manor Theatre, Light Factory Photographic 
Arts Ctr. 6k Mint Museum of Art. Entry fee: $30, 
plus return postage. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 
1/2", CD-ROM. Deadline: Feb. 15. Contact: Robert 
West, film curator, Charlotte Film 6k Video Festival, 
Mint Museum of Art, 2730 Randolph Rd., 
Charlotte, NC 28207; (704) 337-2109; fax: (704) 
337-2101; email: mintfilm@aol.com. 

CHICAGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL, Mar. 24- 
April 3, Chicago. Now in 11th yr, noncompetitive 
fest presents film 6k video from Spain, Portugal, Latin 
America 6k US. Public's Choice award presented to 
1 winning film, which receives plaque 6k closes fol- 
lowing yr's fest. No entry fee. English subtitles 
requested, if necessary. Deadline: Feb. 1 for appl. 6k 
1/2" cassette preview. Contact: Pepe Vargas, director, 
Chicago Latino Cinema, 600 S. Michigan Ave., 
Chicago, IL 60605; (312) 431-1330; fax: (3112)360- 
0629. 

CINE GOLDEN EAGLE FILM & VIDEO COM- 
PETITION, DC. Short 6k doc films, videos 6k mul- 
timedia prods (w/ exception of TV ads) eligible for 
competition. Golden Eagles awarded in following 
cats: amateur, agriculture, animation/children's, 
arts/crafts, business/industry, doc, educational, enter- 
tainment, shorts, nature/environmental, history, 
interactive, medicine, oceanography, public health, 
safety/training, science services, sports, travel. 
Entries must be US prods. CINE enters some award 
winners in foreign fests. Entrants should send entry 
form first 6k films/tapes when instructed. Entry fees: 
$45 6k up. Formats: 1/2" for preview, w/ exception of 
multimedia formats. Deadline: Feb. 1 (also Aug. 1). 
Contact: Awards Director, CINE, 1001 Connecticut 
Ave., ste. 638, NW, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 
785-1136; fax: (202) 785-4114. 

HOMETOWN VIDEO FESTIVAL, July, CA. 
Sponsored by Alliance for Community Media, this 
competitive fest, founded in 1978, recognizes out- 
standing local programs produced for or by local 
organizations 6k public, educational 6k gov't access 
operations. Awards: special awards for overall excel- 
lence in public access, local origination, educational 
6k gov't access; finalists, honorable mentions 6k win- 
ners in 37 cats incl. performing arts; ethnic expres- 
sion; entertainment; sports; by 6k for youth; live; 
municipal; religious; educational; instructional/train- 
ing; informational; innovative; int'l; by 6k for seniors; 
PSA; event/public awareness; video art; music video; 



local news; magazine format; original teleplay. Entries 
must have been shown on local cable TV in previous 
yr. Fest annually receives 2,000 entries. Deadline: 
Feb. 17. Contact: Randy Van Dalsen, Hometown 
Video Festival, The Buske Group, 3001 J St., ste. 201, 
Sacramento, CA 95816; (916) 441-6277; fax: (916) 
441-7670. 

HUMBOLDT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL, April, CA. Oldest student-run fest in US (now 
in its 28th yr), fest provides showcase for ind., student 
6k emerging filmmakers. Films selected by student 
pre-screening committee 6k judged by panel of pro- 
fessional filmmakers. Fest selections screened at old- 
est operating feature -film house in US, Minor 
Theatre. All genres accepted; entries must be under 
60 min. 6k completed in last 3 yrs. Last yr featured 
workshops 6k program incl. People's Choice Night 
(incl. AIVF Membership Award), Best of Fest award 
program w/ awards going to best narrative, animation, 
doc, experimental, cinematic disobedience 6k retro- 
spective of women filmmakers. Over $2,000 in cash 
awards 6k numerous product 6k service prizes award- 
ed. Entry fee: $30. Formats: 16mm, S-8. Deadline 
(film entries): March 11; (video, for preview only): 
Feb. 25. Contact: Humboldt Int'l Film Festival, 
Theater Arts Dept. Humboldt State Univ., Areata, 
CA 95521; (707) 826-41 13; fax: (707) 826-5494. 

INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE FILM FESTI- 
VAL, April 8-15, MT Annual celebration of wildlife, 
this is longest running fest of its kind in world, found- 
ed by well-known bear biologist Dr. Charles Jonkel in 
1977. Judging panels of 6 people each have 3 types of 
judges: wildlife biologists, media 6k prod, specialists 6k 
wildlife writers, artists 6k teachers. Awards: Best of 
Fest; 1st, 2nd 6k 3rd place, Best of Category: editing, 
soundtrack, script, use of music, photography, scien- 
tific content, educational film, merit awards, honor- 
able mention. Special children's events incl. 
WildWalk opening day parade, Children's Day w/ 
wildlife activities such as storytelling, games, music, 
puppet shows, children's matinees (over 3,000 chil- 
dren have attended), Kids' Wildlife Art Club. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, video. Deadline: Feb. 18. 
Contact: International Wildlife Film Festival, 802 
Front St., Missoula, MT; (406) 728-9380. 

MEDICINE WHEEL ANIMATION FESTIVAL, 
traveling tour begins May, MA. Noncompetitive fest 
now in fifth year travels to universities 6k theaters 
across US. Accepts films/videos in all cats. Submit 
1/2" cassette for preview. Entry fee: $10. Deadline: 
Jan. 28. For appl. contact: Medicine Wheel 
Animation Festival, PO Box 1088, Groton, MA 
01450-3088; (508)448-3717. 

MONITOR AWARDS, October, NY. Sponsored by 
Int'l Teleproduction Society, an int'l trade associa- 
tion, competition honors excellence in electronic 
prod. 6k postprod. Cats 6k craft areas incl. TV series; 
TV specials; theatrical releases, music video; nat'l 
commercials; local commercials; promotions; chil- 
dren's programming; sports; docs; short subjects; 
show reels; corporate communication; opens, closes, 
6k titles; transitions; logos 6k IDs. Awards: best 
achievement honors to producers, directors, editors, 
etc. in each cat. Entries produced or postproduced 



46 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



during 1994 calendar yr. Entries originating on film 
must be postprod. electronically. Entry fees: $130- 
170. Format: 3/4". Deadline: Feb 7. Contact: Julia 
Hammer, Int'l Monitor Awards, 350 5th Ave., ste. 
2400, NY, NY 10118; (212) 629-3266; tax: (212) 
629-3265. 

NEWARK BLACK FILM FESTIVAL, July, NJ. 
Held for 6 wks during summer, fest of films by black 
filmmakers showcases int'l black culture. Filmmakers, 
scholars, historians &. other guests discuss films \v 
audiences, who are admitted free to all screenings, 
many of which are held at Newark's Symphony Hall. 
Program also features special films tor children. Co- 
sponsored by Newark Museum, Newark Public 
Library, Newark Symphony Hall, Rutgers-Newark & 
NJ Inst, of Technology. Entry fee, 1995 Biennial 
Robeson Competition: $25. Formats: 16mm, 1/2". 
Write for call for entries. Deadline: March 1. 
Contact: Jane Rappaport, Newark Black Film 
Festival, Newark Museum, 49 Washington St., Box 
540, Newark, NJ 07101; (201) 596-6550; tax: (201) 
642-0459. 

SEATTLE ASIAN AMERICAN FILM FESTI- 
VAL, Sept. 21-24, WA. Northwest's leading show- 
case of ind. Asian Pacific American film & video 
seeks new works by/about Asian Pacific Americans. 
Cats incl. doc, experimental, narrative, animation, 
graphic video art. Films must be in 16mm or 35mm; 
videos on 3/4" tape. Submissions must be accompa- 
nied by entry form &. received no later than March 1 . 
For info &. forms, call William Satake Blauvelt 
evenings at (206) 329-6084. 

SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 

May 18-June 1 1, WA. Fest in 21st yr is one of largest 
non-competitive film events in Northwest. Features 
(over 60 mins.) &. shorts (under 30 mins.) accepted. 
Each yr about 140 films from 45 countries screened. 
Program incl. US &. world premieres, new directors 
showcase, children's series, archival, Best of 
Northwest & special events. Entry fee: $25 (shorts), 
50 (features). Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Deadline: 
March 15. Contact: Darryl Macdonald, Seattle Int'l 
Film Festival, Egyptian Theater, 801 E. Pine St., 
Seattle, WA 98122; (206) 324-9996; fax: (206) 324- 
9998. 

SILVER IMAGES FILM FESTIVAL, May, IL. 
Sponsored by Terra Nova Films, prod. 6k distribution 
co. specializing in films/videos on aging-related issues. 
Seeks "contemporary works which portray older 
adults in a positive yet realistic manner." Short- 6k 
feature-length narrative, doc 6k experimental works, 
produced no earlier than 1990, are eligible. No train- 
ing films or TV prods. No entry fee. Deadline: Feb. 
10. Contact: Becky Cowing, 9848 S. Winchester 
Ave., Chicago, IL 60643; (312) 881-8491; fax: (312) 
881-3368. 

SLICE OF LIFE FILM 6k VIDEO SHOWCASE, 

July, PA. 13th annual fest features competitively cho- 
sen observational doc films 6k videos, incl. those 
using experimental technique. Narrative works 6k 
films/videos over 30 min. not accepted; shorter works 
encouraged. Winning producers will be guests of fest, 
receive cash prize 6k participate in "Meet the Artists" 
public reception 6k professionals conference. Fest is 
part of annual Central PA Festival of the Arts, which 



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16mm, 3/4"; preview on 16mm, 1/2". Deadline: April 
1. Contact: Sedgwick Heskett, director. Slice of Life 
Film & Video Showcase, Documentary Resource 
Center, 106 Boalsburg Pike, PO Box 909, Lemont, PA 
16851; (814) 234-1945; fax: (814) 234-09391 

SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST FILM FESTIVAL, 

March 10-18, TX. Fest is part of SxSW Film 6k Media 
Conference, held March 10-12. Accepted are fea- 
tures (over 60 mins.), shorts (under 45 mins.), doc 
features, doc shorts 6k music videos. Entry fee: $15 
($20 for return of preview cassette). Entries must 
have been completed in 1993/94. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 3 4". 1 2"; preview on 1 2". Deadline: Jan. 13. 
Contact: Nancy Schafer, South by Southwest Film 
Festival, PO Box 4999, Austin, TX 78765; (512) 467- 
779; fax: (512)451-0754. 

USA FILM FESTIVAL, April, TX. Annual fest cel- 
ebrates excellence in film 6k video arts w/ major 
curated film showcase (now in 25th year) 6k nat'l 
short film 6k video competition (now in 1 7th yr). Fest 
presents world, national, or regional premieres of 
hundreds of feature films 6k short works to audiences 
of 16,000. Awards for shorts competition announced 
during fest; competition open to submissions by all 
film 6k videomakers in US. Entries should be under 
60 min. 6k compete for cash prizes up to $1,000 in 
cats such as dramatic, nonfiction, animation, experi- 
mental, music video/film, advertising 6k promotion. 
Family Award honors work intended for general audi- 
ences, Student Award goes to exceptional work by 
registered student 6k Texas Award goes to current TX 
residents. Deadline: March 1. Entry fee: $40 (shorts 
only, features free). Contact: USA Film Festival, 2917 
Swiss Ave., Dallas, TX 75204; (214) 821-6300; fax: 
(214)821-6364. 

VIDEOSCAPE: ASIAN AMERICAN VIDEO 
SHOWCASE, presented by Asian CineVision, 
showcases work by Asian 6k Asian American video 
artists since 1982. Works must originate in video. 
Categories: narrative, doc, animation, experimental, 
installation, performance pieces. Formats: 3/4" only. 
For preview purposes, send 1/2" or 3/4". Deadline: 
Jan. 15. Contact: Minnie Hong, Asian CineVision, 32 
E. Broadway, NY, NY 10002; (212) 925-8685. 

VIDEO SHORTS COMPETITION, March, WA. 
National competition of short video artworks. 
General cat as well as revolving special cat each yr 
(1995- "PSA's about Public Access"). Competition 
accepts works up to 6 mins., all PSA entries must 
conform to standard 10, 20, 30, 60 sec lengths. Only 
noncommercial works accepted. Ten winners picked; 
six public access PSA's chosen for distribution to local 
broadcast 6k cable channels. Cash prizes awarded. All 
entries considered for inclusion in "best of" Video 
Shorts collections. Entry fee: $20 ($10 for each addt'l 
entry on same cassette). Deadline: Feb. 1. Contact: 
Video Shorts, PO Box 20369, Seattle, WA 98102; 
(206) 325-8449. 

Foreign 

BANFF TELEVISION FESTIVAL, June, Canada. 
All-TV fest incl. competition, which awards Banff 
Rockies, conference for TV professionals 6k informal 



coprod. marketplace. Cats: made-for-TV movies, 
miniseries, continuing series, short dramas, TV come- 
dies, social 6k political docs, popular science pro- 
grams, arts docs, performance specials, children's pro- 
grams, information programs, animation programs. 
Entries for competition must be made for TV, i.e. no 
prior theatrical release. Entries originally in English or 
French must have TV premiere between April 1, 
1994 6k April 1, 1995. Producers of programs judged 
best in each cat receive Banff Rockie sculptures. 
Grand Prize awarded to program determined Best of 
Fest. Jury may also give two special awards for out- 
standing achievements. Special on-demand screening 
facilities for all programs. Contact: Jerry Ezekiel, 
Banff Television Festival, 204 Caribou St., #306, Box 
1020, Banff, Alberta, Canada TOL OCO; (403) 762- 
3060; fax: (403) 762-5357. 

CANNES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 

May, France. Now 48th yr of Cannes, one of world's 
best known, most prestigious int'I fests. Over 35,000 
guests partake in continuous screenings, parties, press 
conferences 6k one of world's major film markets. 
Selection committee, appointed by Administration 
Board, chooses entries for Official Competition 
(about 20 films) 6k for Un Certain Regard section. 
Films must be made w/in prior 12 months, released 
only in country of origin 6k not entered in other film 
fests. Official component consists of 3 sections: In 
Competition, features 6k shorts compete for major 
fest awards (Palme d'Or, Best Dir- 
ector/ Actress/ Actor/Jury Prize); Special Out-of- 
Competition, features ineligible for competition; Un 
Certain Regard (noncompetitive), for films of int'I 
quality which do not qualify for Competition, films by 
new directors, etc. Parallel sections incl. Qumzaine 
des Reahsateurs (Directors Fortnight), main sidebar 
for new talent, sponsored by Assoc, of French Film 
Directors; La Semaine de la Critique (Int'I Critics 
Week), selection of 1st or 2nd features 6k docs chosen 
by members of French Film Critics' Union (selections 
must be completed w/in 12 mos. prior to fest) 6k 
Perspectives on French Cinema. Market, adminis- 
tered separately, screens films in main venue 6k local 
theatre. Top prizes incl. Official Competition's Palme 
d'Or (feature 6k short) 6k Camera d'Or (best 1st film 
in any section). For info 6k press accreditation from 
US (deadline: March 31), contact: Catherine Verret, 
French Film Office, 745 Fifth Ave., NY, NY 10151; 
(212) 832-8860, fax: (212) 755-0629. Official 
Sections: Festival International du Film (deadline: 
March 10), 99 boul. Malesherbes, 75008 Paris, 
France; tel: 01133 1 45 61 66 00; fax: 01 1 33 1 45 61 
97 60; Quinzaine des Reahsateurs, Societe des 
Reahsateurs de Films, 215 rue du Faubourg St. 
Honore, 75008 Paris, France; tel: 01133 1 45 61 01 
66, fax: 01133 1 40 74 07 96. Semaine International de 
la Critique (deadline: March 30), 73, rue de Lourmel 
75015 Paris, France; tel: 011 33 1 45 75 68 27. 
Cannes Film Market, attn: Marcel Lathiere, Michel R 
Bonnet, 99 boul. Malesherbes, 75008 Paris, France; 
tel: 01 1 33 1 45 61 66 00; fax: 01 1 33 1 45 61 97 60. 

GOLDEN ROSE OF MONTREUX, April 30-May 
6, Switzerland. Celebrating 35th yr 6k organized by 
Swiss Broadcasting Corporation 6k City of Montreux, 
annual competition for light entertainment TV pro- 
grams. Broadcasters 6k ind. producers may compete 
in cats of humor, music 6k general light entertain- 
ment, w/ each cat having own int'I jury. Format: Beta 



48 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



SP Deadline: Feb. 15. Contact: John Nathan, N. 
American representative, Rose J'Or de Montreux, 
488 Madison Ave., ste. 1710, NY, NY 10022; (212) 
223-0044; tax: (212) 223-4531. 

HIROSHIMA INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR 
FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, August, Japan. 
Accepts all genres of film & video that "manifest an 
effort toward peace or reverence tor life." Formats: 
16mm, super 8, 1/2" 6k 3/4" under 20 min. produced 
since 1989. Cash prizes. No entry fee. Deadline: Feb. 
28. Contact: Hiroshima Int'l Amateur Film & Video 
Festival Working Committee, c/o Chugoku 
Broadcasting, 21-3, Motomachi, Naka-ku, 
Hiroshima, 730 Japan; tel: 81 82 222 1 1 33; fax: 81 82 
222 1319. 

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL, June, Australia. Now in 44th yr, this FIAPF & 
Int'l Short Film Conference -recognized fest is 
Australia's oldest ck programs an eclectic mix of ind. 
work. Int'l short film competition is important part of 
fest. Kino Awards for Short Film (sponsored by Kino 
Cinemas) incl. Grand Prize (AUD$5,000) & awards 
of AUD$ 1,500 each in cats of experimental, animat- 
ed, doc & fiction. Other awards are ANZAAS-CIRO 
for outstanding film/video dealing w/ science -related 
subject (AUD$ 1,500). Fest also incl. Youth Film Fest 
(6-18 yrs.) & program focusing on architecture 6k 
design. Good window tor Australian theatrical 6k 
non-theatrical sales, educational distributors 6k 
Australian networks. Feature-length narrative 6k doc 
films over 60 min. considered; work must have been 
completed on 35mm 6k 16mm (video prods consid- 
ered at discretion of fest director) since Jan. 1994 6k 
not screened in Australia. Short film competition 
open to films up to 60 min. on 35mm 6k 16mm (S-8 
6k video accepted out of competition), completed 
since Jan. 1994 6k not screened in Australia. Entry 
fee: USD$25 (int'l money order). Deadline: April 1 
(features); March 17 (shorts). Contact: Tait Brady, 
fest director, Melbourne Int'l Film Festival, 207 
Johnston St., PO Box 2206, Fitzroy 3065, Melbourne, 
Australia; tel: 01 1 61 3 417 2011; fax: 011 61 3 417- 
3804. 

YAMAGATA INTERNATIONAL DOCUMEN- 
TARY FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 3-9, Japan. Fest 
focuses on ind. work.w/ "commitment to intelligent, 
meaningful programming." Best works of doc art pro- 
moted in main competition 6k in special events like 
last yr's Indigenous Peoples' Film 6k Video Festival, 
continuing Asia Program, 6k forthcoming commemo- 
ration of 100th anniversary of cinema. Entries must 
have been produced after April 1, 1993 6k not 
released publicly in Japan prior to showing at fest. 
Shorts not accepted. Director of each selected film 
invited to fest w/ expenses covered by organizing 
committee. Awards: Robert 6k Frances Flaherty 
Grand Prize (¥3,000,000); Mayor's Prize 
(¥1,000,000); two runner-up prizes (¥300,000 each); 
one special prize (¥300,000). Fest held in Yamagata 
city, 360 km NE of Tokyo. No entry fee. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm; preview on cassette. Deadline: March 
31. Contact: Kazuyuki Yani, director, Tokyo Office, 
Yamagata Int'l Documentary Film Festival, Kitagawa 
Bldg. 4 fl., 6-42 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162, 
Japan; tel: 011 81 3 3266-9704; fax: 011 81 3 3266- 
9700; e-mail: hhg02034(« niftyserve.or.jp. 



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Selections include: 

• KICK-OFF SEMINAR with Leslie Harris (Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.), Lodge Kerrigan 
(Clean, Shaven), Darnell Martin (I Like It Like That), Tom Noonan (What Happenened Was...). 
David 0. Russell (Spanking the Monkey), Kevin Smith (Clerks), Whit Stillman (Barcelona), 
Rose Troche (Go Fish) 

• THE ART OF WRITING COMEDY with Marshall Brickman (Manhattan Murder Mystery), 
Douglas Carter Beane (To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar), Nelson George 
(CB4), Malia Scotch Marmo (Once Around), James Schamus (The Wedding Banquet) 

• MARKETING & DISTRIBUTING INDIE FILM with Ira Deutchman (Fine Line Features), 
Larry Meistrich (producer, Laws of Gravity), Sara Rose (Orion Pictures), 

Catherine Schulman (Samuel Goldwyn Company), Sande Zeig (Artistic License Films) 

• OPTIONING YOUR SCRIPT with Marc Chamlin, (Loeb and Loeb), Caldecot Chubb (producer, 
Hoffa), Beth Dembitzer (Rigas Entertainment), Elizabeth Finkelstein (MGM/UA),Stephen 
Pevner 

• FINANCING INDIE FILMS with Simon Baker (Bank of America), Donald Baraf, Esq., John 
Hyde (MCEG Sterling), Lindsay Law (American Playhouse), Amy Robinson (producer, With 
Honors), Christine Vachon (Go Fish), Cliftord Werber (Twentieth Century Fox) 

• DEVELOPING INDIE FILMS with David Brown (producer, The Player), Ruth Charny 
(producer, Mistress), Richard Gladstein (Miramax), Lynn Hoist (American Playhouse), 
David Picker (Paramount), Johnnie Planco (William Morris), Bart Walker (ICM) 

Tapes are $16/each. Make check or money order payable to IFP. For a complete listing, 
send a S.A.S.E. to: 1994 Tapes, c/o IFP, 104 W 29th Street, 12th fl, New York, NY 10001 



January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 49 



i 



C/assffieds 




YOU NOW 
CAN PAY FOR 
YOUR CLAS- 
SIFIED ADS 
USING A VISA 
OR MASTER 
CARD. JUST FAX 
TYPED AD COPY 
TO THE ATTENTION 
OF MICHELE SHAPIRO AT 
(212) 677-8732. FOR THE AD TO APPEAR IN 
THE MAGAZINE, YOU MUST INCLUDE THE 
FOLLOWING INFORMATION: CREDIT CARD 
TYPE (VISA/MC); CREDIT CARD NUMBER; 
NAME ON THE CARD; EXPIRATION DATE; 
BILLING ADDRESS OF CREDIT CARD AND 
CARDHOLDER'S DAYTIME PHONE NUMBER. 
FAXES RECEIVED WITHOUT ALL THE ABOVE 
INFORMATION WILL BE DISCARDED. EACH 
ENTRY IN THE CLASSIFIEDS COLUMN HAS A 
250-CHARACTER LIMIT (INCLUDING SPACES 
AND PUNCTUATION) AND COSTS $25 PER 
ISSUE FOR AIVF MEMBERS; $35 FOR NON- 
MEMBERS. PLEASE INCLUDE VALID MEMBER 
ID NUMBER WHEN SUBMITTING CLASSIFIED 
ADVERTISEMENTS. ADS EXCEEDING THIS 
LENGTH WILL BE EDITED. PAYMENT BY 
CHECK OR MONEY ORDER SHOULD ACCOM- 
PANY ALL ADVERTISING COPY. NO ADS WILL 
BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT PAYMENT. 
ADVERTISERS WISHING TO RUN A CLASSI- 
FIED MORE THAN ONCE MUST PAY FOR 
EACH INSERTION AND INDICATE THE NUM- 
BER OF INSERTIONS ON THE SUBMITTED 
COPY. EACH CLASSIFIED MUST BE TYPED, 
DOUBLE-SPACED, AND WORDED EXACTLY AS 
IT SHOULD APPEAR. DEADLINES ARE THE 
1ST OF EACH MONTH, TWO MONTHS PRIOR 
TO THE COVER DATE (E.G. FEBRUARY 1 FOR 
THE APRIL 1995 ISSUE). MAKE CHECK OR 
MONEY ORDER— NO CASH, PLEASE- 
PAYABLE TO FIVF, 625 BROADWAY, 9TH FL., 
NY, NY 10012. 



Buy Rent Sell 

3/4" SP FIELD RECORDING SYSTEM: 3 chip 
Panasonic WV F-250 camera. SONY VO-8800 Deck 
w/ time code, cases, batts, chargers; $8,000. Call 
George Hornbein at (404) 814-0342, leave message. 

6 PLATE STEENBECK model ST 900W, w/ trim 
bin, guillotine, and Revis splicers; $4,000. Call 
George Hombein at (404) 814-0342, leave message. 

16MM MOVIOLA 4-PLATE FLATBED for sale. 2 
audio heads; one picture head; one optical head. 
Trim bin & splicer incl. $2,500 OBO. Also: JVC 3/4" 
editing system 8200/8250, $3,000 OBO. Free deliv- 
ery in Continental US. (704) 343-2624. 

CP16A CAMERA PKG.: CP16A 9.5 Angenieux, 
filters, mags, batt charger, batts, anvil case $1,495; 
CP16A 12-120 Angenieux, Mags, case, etc. $1,295. 
Both cameras 6k accessories $2,495. (212) 213-8511. 

FILMMAKING FOUNDATIONS: Hands-on 



workbook covering entire process from previsualiza- 
tion to postprod. Written by industry expert w/ 40 
yrs. experience. Clear, concise, witty. Free additional 
info: J. Bloedow, 45 Marble Hill #120, NY, NY 
10463. 

SONY VIDEO CAM: Tube type, dockable. 
dcxl800 $977; dxcl610 w/ custom lenses $1,477. 
Industrial tripods $79; color monitors from $97; sync 
gen. $477; audio misers $147, mics, light meters, 
shading consule. Visa/MC. (800) 310-7387. 

SONY BVW60 $12,000; SONY VO 9850 SP 
3/4" Deck $4,000; RM450 controller $950; JVC 
5550V 3/4" player $1,000 (incl. Pep Adapter for 
RM450); JVC VHS edit system (rec/player/con- 
troller) $1,000. Hal (212) 751-1283. 

WOULD LIKE TO BUY: Inexpensive, used off-line 
editing system — VHS, S-VHS, Hi8 or 3/4". If you no 
longer use yours, please call Jed (212) 966-4117. 



Distribution 

AFFABLE DISTRIBUTOR & AIVF member 
seeks quality ind. prods for exclusive worldwide dis- 
tribution. If program is accepted, we will send con- 
tract in 7 days. Send VHS w/ SASE to Chip Taylor 
Communications, 15 Spollett Dr., Derry, NH 03038. 

AQUARIUS PRODUCTIONS seeks videos on 
learning disabilities, special ed., holistic medicine 6k 
coping w/ chronic diseases, among other topics. 
Call/send videos for preview. Contact: Leslie 
Kussman, Aquarius, 35 Mam St., Wayland, MA 
01778; (508) 651-2963. 

ATA TRADING CORP., actively 6k successfully 
distributing ind. prods, for over 50 yrs., seeks new 
programming of all types for worldwide distribution 
into all markets. Contact us at (212) 594-6460. 

CINNAMON PRODUCTIONS, 25 yrs. distribut- 
ing educational, home video ck TV worldwide, seeks 
films/videos on social/minority concerns, human 
rights, environment, AIDS, Native Americans, 
drugs, arts. 19 Wild Rose Rd., Westport, CT 06880; 
(203) 221-0613. 

ECLECTIC ENTERTAINMENT CO., worldwide 
distribution for your "cutting-edge" art house or 
mainstream feature films. Send tapes to: 8033 Sunset 
Blvd., ste. 474, Los Angeles, CA 90046; (213) 466- 
0801; fax: (213)455-5980. 

FANLIGHT PRODUCTIONS, distributor of 
award-winning film & video on disabilities, health 
care, mental health, family/social issues, etc. seeks 
new work for distribution to educational markets. 
Karen McMillen. Fanlight Productions, 47 Halifax 
St., Boston, MA 02130; (800) 937-4113. 

FREE CATALOG of ind. 6k experimental films on 
video. Call 1 (800) 797-FILM or write to: 
Alternative Filmworks, Inc., Dept. 101, PO Box 647, 
State College, PA 16804-0647. 

QUEER CINEMA WANTED by OutSpoken 
Productions (worldwide rep for Pat Rocco film 
library). Short-Anedium-length film/video pieces 
from gay /lesbian POV In prod, now! TV & home 
video releases: We can get your work seen! Call 



Steve (800) 670-9282. 

SEEKING EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS on guidance 
issues such as violence/drug prevention/parenting for 
exclusive distribution. Our aggressive marketing pro- 
duces unequaled results. Bureau For At-Risk Youth, 
645 New York Ave., Huntington, NY 11743; (800) 
99-YOUTH. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational markets. 
Educational Productions distributes videos on early 
childhood education, special ed. & parent ed. 
Contact: Linda Freedman, Educational Prods., 7412 
SW Beaverton, Hillsdale Hwy, Portland, OR 97225; 
(800) 950-4949. 

SEEKING SHORT FILMS for packaging. Film com- 
pany seeks 30 min. short films having some connec- 
tion w/ fast food/restaurants. Send VHS copy to: KSK 
Visuals. 136 W 21 St., 9th fl., NY, NY 10011. 

VARIED DIRECTIONS INT'L, distributors of 
socially important, award-winning programs on child 
abuse, health 6k women's issues, seeks select films 6k 
videos. Call Joyce at (800) 888-5236 or write: 69 Elm 
St., Camden, ME 04843; fax: (207) 236-4512. 



Freelancers 

16MM PROD. PKG. w/ cinematographer from 
$200/day. Crystal-sync camera w/ fluid head, Nagra, 
mikes, Mole/Lowell lights, dolly/track, etc. Full 16mm 
post avail.: editing, sound transfer 1/4" to 16 mag 
(.055/ft). Sound mix only $70/hr! Tom (201) 641- 
5532. 

BETA SP LOCATION PROD.: Daily or long-term. 
Also Professional Hi8, 3/4" avail. NYC-based, will 
travel. For rates 6k info, call (718) 847-4667. 

BETACAM SP cameraman w/ Sony 3-chip BVP- 
70/BW5SP, avail, for your project. Equip, pkg, DP 
kit, Sennheiser mics., 5-passenger van. Audio engi- 
neer avail. 3/4" Sony offline editing system. Thomas 
(212)929-2439, (201) 667-9894. 

CAMERAMAN: Award-winning, sensitive, effi- 
cient. 10 yrs experience in docs 6k industrials, over- 
seas projects. Complete broadcast-quality Sony 
BVW-300A Betacam SP pkg. Rates tailored to pro- 
ject 6k budget. Can speak Japanese. Scott, Public Eye 
Prods., (212)627-1244. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER lives to collaborate w/ 
original director. More than just a pkg.; strong under- 
standing of montage, continuity 6k drama w/ lst-rate 
storyboard skills. Award-winning work screened at 
Sundance, Bravo, New Directors, MoMA, etc. (212) 
228-3143. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Owner Aaton Itr 16/S-16 
avail, for challenging projects at very low rates. 
Experimental, doc, narrative film experience. Kevin 
Skvorak (212) 229-8357. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ interesting credits has 
35mm, S- 16, 6k 16mm cameras avail. Call Brandon 
Flynt for quotes 6k reel at ph/fax (212) 226-8417. In 
Wilmington, N.C., call (910) 507-3195. 

COMPOSER AVAIL: Powerful, evocative music for 
your project's enhancement. S.F. -based MIDI w/ 



50 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



DAT mixdown. Demo avail, on request. Duane 
Frybarger (415) 928-7976. 

COMPOSER interested in scoring drama, comedy, 
horror, sci-fi, or fantasy features. Exp. w/ symphonic 
6k electronic prod, in many musical styles. Creative 
collaborator w/ good instincts. Demo avail. Call 
Simeon at (914)986-9860. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ awards, tal- 
ent 6k experience. Credits incl. features, commercials, 
industrials, docs, shorts 6k music videos. Owner of 
Aaton 16mm/S-16 pkg. 35mm pkg also avail. Call for 
my reel. Bob (212) 741-2189. 

DP W/ IKEGAMI DIGITAL CAMERA, BVW 50 

or BW5, full field Betacam SP pkg. (Am lights, 
Vinten tripod, top quality audio, transportation). 
Network/int'l. credits; competitive rates. Fluency in 
Spanish. Hal (212) 751-1283. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY would like to 
shoot your ind. dramatic film (short or feature- 
length). Robert Cohen has 15 years experience 6k 
many equipment connections. Salary negotiable or 
deferred for right project. Call (201) 783-5354. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY looking for 
interesting features, shorts, ind. projects, etc. Credits 
incl. features, commercials, industrials, short films, 
music videos. Aaton 16/S-16 pkg. avail. Call Abe 
(914) 783-3159. 

DP: Award-winning" w/ experience, expertise 6k 
attention to detail, seeks ind. prods. Docs, features, 
shorts. Great w/ people, action 6k aerials. Own com- 
plete Aaton S-16/16mm pkg., video 6k 35mm avail. 
Located in Utah; will travel. Jeffrey (801) 265-3444. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY: Frequent con- 
tributor to "Legal Brief" columns in The Independent 
6k other magazines, offers legal services to film 6k 
video community on projects from development 
through distribution. Reasonable rates. Contact: 
Robert L. Seigel Esq. (212) 307-7533. 

ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER: Former AIVF 
exec, director 6k founding chair of ITVS has returned 
to legal practice. Have your project represented by- 
lawyer w/ in-depth understanding of ind. prod., 
financing, distribution 6k public TV. Reasonable rates. 
Call Lawrence Sapadin (718) 768-4142. 

EXPERIENCED COMPOSER avail, for features, 
trailers, docs, TV. All budgets. Major experience 
composing theme 6k underscore music for Fox TV, 
incl. A Current Affair 6k The Reporters. From classical 
to rock, Latin to Brazilian, jazz to R6kB. Work w/ all 
formats. Mike Catalano (516) 799-8280. 

EXPERIENCED DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRA- 
PHY w/ Arri 16 SR pkg. 6k Mole Richardson lighting 
pkg. Seeks interesting film projects in feature or 
short-subject form. Very reasonable rates for new 
directors 6k screenwriters. (212) 737-6815; 423-1125 
(fax). 

EXPERIENCED PICTURE RESEARCHER W/ 
FILM PROD. KNOWLEDGE will work on docs 6k 
informational projects. Can combine picture research 
w/ prod./postprod. duties, associate producing, edit- 
ing assistance, etc. Call (212) 219-3868. 

DP/STEADICAM ARTIST w/ 16SR, 35BL, super- 
speed lenses, 3-chip camera 6k BVU 150 deck sound 
equipment, lighting, van. Passport. Certified Scuba 



diver, French, little Spanish. Features, commercials, 
music videos. Call Mick (212) 929-7728. 

FILM 6k VIDEO SCORING. Elaborate MIDI studio 
w, SMPTE lock. Analog or digital mastering avail. 
Classically trained at Juliard. Also experienced in 
jazz, latin, R6kB 6k rock. Work w/ all budgets. Call 
(718) 375-0139 for audio demo. Ask for Jerry. 

L.A.-BASED D.P.: Creative 6k fast w/ keen visual 
sense seeks subversive features, docs, 6k other over- 
the-edge work. Self-owned equip, in all formats. Call 
John to kibitz: (310) 478-2408. 

LINE PRODUCER/PROD. MANAGER: Avail, for 

ind. video, 16mm, or 35mm prods. Call (212) 989- 
5704. 

MUSIC BY COMPOSER who has scored over 7 
award-winning films. Owns 6k operates complete 
music prod, facility w/ multitrack recording 6k works 
well w/ directors 6k editors. "The music speaks for 
itself." Phil. Express (212) 727-3705. 

MUSIC FOR FILM: Versatile, flexible composing 6k 
prod, team w/ credits 6k state-of-the-art recording 
facilities avail, for all your soundtrack needs. Call for 
demo (516) 883-2257. 

PROFESSIONAL EDITOR with knowledge of ind. 
biz will edit or proofread your manuscript — inexpen- 
sively (less than $l/pg. for most jobs). Call (212) 545- 
7235 for details. 

START-UP WIZARD: Consulting for projects 6k 
orgs. Budgets, accounting systems, staffing, personnel 
policies, prod, planning 6k mgmt, conflict resolution 
6k leadership issues. 15 yrs. exp. incl. public TV 6k 
ITVS. Kate Lehmann (612) 822-1240. 

STEADICAM for film 6k video. Special rates for 
inds. Call Sergei Franklin (212) 228-4254. 

SU-CITY PICTURES PRESENTS: The 

Screenplay Doctor 6k Movie Mechanic. Professional 
story editors/postprod. specialists will analyze screen- 
play/treatment/synopsis 6k evaluate films-in-progress. 
Multimedia, advanced tech 6k interactive consulta- 
tions. Reasonable. Call (212) 219-9224. 

WHAT YOU NEED IS WHAT WE'VE GOT: 

Expert shooter/editor/writer will help create worry- 
free 6k beautiful shows. Sony BVW 300, mikes, lights, 
Saab, brains 6k flexibility. Some post avail. Friendly 
consultation. Call us. Rob (212) 663-2213. 



Preproduction 

ATTN. SCREENWRITERS: Ind. producer accept- 
ing scripts. Send screenplays to: Becklin 
Development, 79 St. Marks Place, #4A, NY, NY 
10003. Scripts must be registered w/ Writer's Guild or 
copyrighted w/ Library of Congress. Enclose SASE. 

AWARD-WINNING CREW, camera 6k sound, 
16mm, Hi8, avail, for docs; Aaton LTR. CP-GSMO 
Nagras. Canon L-2. Credits incl. The War Room, 
Roger & Me, Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey, Blood in 
the Face, etc. Rafferty /Stone Productions (212) 608- 
5013, (212) 505-0154. 

FORTY ACRES AND A MULE Filmworks. Inc., is 
accepting WGA-registered, feature-length screen- 
plays. Please send script 6k script-sized SASE to: Forty 
Acres and a Mule Development, 8 St. Felix St., 



HARMONIC RANCH 




EDITING 
DESIGN 

MIXING 
MUSIC 



59 FRANKLIN $T, NYC, 10013 
(212)9 66-3141 



WHEN IT COMES TO 






ior 




WE ARE 
THE EXPERTS! 




JPfWSt 

NEW YORK 

420 LEXINGTON AVENUE 

NEW YORK, N.Y. 10170-0199 

TEL (212) 867-3550 • FAX: (212) 983-6483 

JOLYON F. STERN, President 
CAROL A. BRESSI, Vice President 



AFFILIATES IN: LONDON • PARIS • MUNICH 



January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 51 



Brooklyn, NY 1 1217; (718) 858-9620. 

IND. PROD. COMPANY socks scripts under 15 
niin. All genres considered. Send copyrighted scripts 
w/ SASE to: Ndolo Films, PO Box 20210, NY, NY 
10009. 

NORTH/SOUTH PRODUCTIONS seeking 'full- 
length, copywrited, original scripts to produce. 
Competitive fees. Send scripts w/ .SASE to: N.S. 
Prods., PO Box 533, Boston, MA 02130. 

PRODUCER'S REP seeking feature-length & 30- 
min. shorts for representation. Non-exclusive basis. 
Prefer screeners w/ time codes. All subject matters: 
theatrical, educational, informational. Norma Brody, 
3366 Wichita Falls Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93063; 
(805) 527-2680. 

RUSSIA & C.I.S. LOCATION SERVICES: 

American company in Moscow w/ 3 yrs. exp. will 
make all arrangements for your doc. or feature. Also 
offering world's lowest prices on AVID 6k Silicon 
Graphics. Fax: 011-7095-216-8162; e-mail: moscine- 
ma(« glas.apc.org. 



POSTPRODUCTION 

$10/hr VIDEO VHS EDIT SUITE: $20-3/4", $15 

interf., incl. titles, Amiga & seg. Also avail.: A&.B 
dubs; computer; photo; Ssides; audio; mixed media 
prod, postprod.; total S-8 sound film sves 
editor training. The Media Loft, 727 6th Ave. (23rd); 
(212) 924-4893. 



installed: 5850, 5800, RM 440, 2 monitors $500/wk., 
$l,600/mo. Delivery &. installation incl. Equipment 
clean 6k professionally maintained. Thomas (212) 
929-2439; (201) 667-9894. 

16MM CUTTING ROOMS: 8-plate 6k 6-plate fully 
equipped rooms, sound-transfer facilities, 24-hr. 
access. Downtown, near all subways 6k Canal St. 
Reasonable rates. (212) 925-1500. 

16MM EDITING ROOM, great location, low rates. 
Fully equipped w/ 6 plate Steenbeck, 24 hr. access, in 
East Village, safe 6k clean bldg. Daily, weekly, or 
monthly rentals. Call Su at (212) 475-7186. 

16MM SOUND MIX only $70/hr! Fully equipped 
mix studio for features, shorts, docs. Bring in your cut 
16mm tracks, walk out w/ final mix. 16mm transfers 
also avail, from 1/4" dailies, music, or SFX. (Only 
,055/ft. incl. stock.) Call Tom (201) 641-5532. 

16MM 6k 35MM OPTICAL SOUND TRACKS! If 

you want "High Quality" sound for your film, you 
need a "High Quality" sound negative. Contact Mike 
Holloway, Optical Sound/Chicago Inc., 24 W. Erie, 
Chicago, II 60610; (312) 943-1771 or (708) 541- 
8488. 

3/4" OFFLINE EDIT SUITE: Sony 9800/9850 w/ 
RM 450, time code reader/generator 6k mixer. 24-hr. 
access, convenient SoHo location 6k reasonable rates. 
Daily, weekly, monthly rentals. Call (212) 431-1604. 

BRODSKY 6k TREADWAY: S-8 6k regular 8mm 
film-to-video masters, scene-by-scene to 1" 6k 
Betacam. By appointment only; (508) 948-7985. 

3/4" SONY OFFLINE SYSTEM delivered to you 6k DIGITAL SOUND CUTTING RM. Sonic 



Solutions 6k Digidesign sound tools edit stations, 3/4" 
VTR, T.C. DAT, 2 6k 8 Trk analogue, CD, CD-ROM, 
outboard FX, Sample Call, dubber, pull up/down, 
house sink, $l,000/wk. Monthly 6k daily rates avail.: 
(212) 254-5086. 

EDIT AT HOME: Rent our mint condition Sony 
3/4" off-line system (5800, 5850, RM440, 2 moni- 
tors). $400/week, long term rates negotiable, one 
month minimum. Call Deborah (212) 226-2579 or 
Jane (212) 929-4795. 

EMC VIDEO EDITING SYSTEM FOR RENT. 

Non-linear/digital/9-hr. memory. For rates call: 
Tatge/Lasseur Productions (212) 222-5677. 

NEW 3/4" SP SONY OFFLINE system: Rent/deliv- 
ery: 9850, 9800, RM450, 2 mos., $500/wk. Install 
incl. Pro Digital EFX switcher Panasonic WJ-MX50 
optional. Hi8 to 3/4" transfer, 6-ch. sound mic avail. 
From $10/hr. Girls Make Videos (212) 757-5013. 

OFFLINE EDITOR w/ low rates 6k access to budget- 
conscious facilities for video (3/4" 6k S-VHS) 6k audio 
(from most basic to state-of-the-art digital, plus 
everything in between). Will work within your bud- 
get. Call (718) 897-8675. 

SONY 3/4" SP OFFLINE SYSTEM: 9850, 9800, 
RM 450 6k 2 monitors. Professionally maintained. 
Negotiable, low rates. Call (718) 284-2645. 

VIDEO EDITING: VHS 6k SVHS editing w/ digi- 
tal effects, TBC, Video Toaster, character generator, 
2D 6k 3D animation 6k audio mixing $45 w/ editor, 
$30 w/out. SVHS, 3/4" 3-chip prod. pkgs. avail. 5th 
St./3rd Ave. Eric (212) 475-6228. 



15 YEARS OF 
FILM & VIDEO 
DISTRIBUTION 

• SHORT FILMS & VIDEOS 

• INDEPENDENT FEATURES 

• TO TV & VIDEO MARKETS 

• WORLDWIDE 

• Producers of "The Best of the Fests" series 
and the Independent Short-Film Showcase 

• Animation, Comedv, Drama, Fantasv, Kids, 
Documentary, Fvperimenlal, Horror, Sci-Fi 

Call toll free 1-800-52S-TAPE 

F-Mail 74222.372 Scorn puserve.com 

or Fax 312-769-4467 for more information 



i PICTURE i 

! START ! 



: INTERNATIONAL . 

1-800-528-TAPE (-8273) 



CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF THE ARTS 
SCHOOL OF FILM/VIDEO 

The School of Film/Video invites applications for full-time and part-time 
appointments in the areas of Screenwriting, Video Editing, Computer 
Graphics, Character Animation Story Development, and Full Animation for 
the Academic Year 1995/96. 

Applicants should have professional experience and/or 
demonstrated ability in teaching, preferably at the college 
level. 

Persons interested in these positions should submit a letter of 
application indicating areas of experience and current resume 
to: 

Hartmut Bitomsky, Dean 

School of Film/Video 

California Institute of the Arts 

24700 McBean Parkway 

Santa Clarita, Ca. 91355 

Closing date for receipt of applications is January 30, 1995. 

California Institute of the Arts is an Equal Opportunity, 
Affirmative Action Employer. Women and minorities are 
encouraged to apply. 



52 THE INDEPENDENT January /February 1 995 



notices are listed free of charge. aivf mem- 
bers & nonprofit organizations receive first 
priority; others are included as space permits. 
the independent reserves the right to edit for 
length. deadlines for notices are the 1st of 
the month, two months prior to cover date 
(e.g., january 2nd for the march 1995 issue.) 
send to: independent notices, fivf, 625 
broadway, ny, ny 10012. we try to be as current 
as possible with information, but please dou- 
ble check with organizations before submit- 
ting tapes or applications. 

Conferences • Seminars 

DCTV offers technical workshops, inch: Basic TV 
prod., camera seminar, S-VHS & 3/4" editing, Amiga 
titling 6k graphics, intro. to doc. Register with: 
DCTV, 87 Lafayette St., NY, NY 10013-4435; (212) 
966-4510. 

FILM ARTS FOUNDATION offers ongoing work- 
shops 6k seminars, from super 8 6kl6mm film & video 
prod, to fundraising, distribution, screenwriting, spe- 
cial effects 6k guest lectures. Technical workshops 
taught by professionals. Contact: FAF, 346 Ninth St., 
2nd fl., San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 552-8760; 
fax: (415) 552-0882. 

FILMMAKERS, new computer conference dedicat- 
ed to NYC area film 6k videomakers avail, on Eastnet 
BBS: (718) 767-0157. Mac & Windows users can get 
free FirstClass '" software to dial in. E-mail 
DougAbel(gaol.com for more info. 

HARVESTWORKS in Manhattan offers classes in 
subjects ranging from audio/video synchronization to 
multimedia prod. 6k audio preprod. All classes (1-2 
days) held at 596 Broadway, NY, NY To register, call: 
Annie Fergerson (212) 431-1130. 

IFFCON '95: OPEN DAY held in San Francisco on 
Jan. 13. 2nd Int'l Film Financing Conference an- 
nounces Open Day, a full day of panels 6k networking 
opportunities w/ key int'l film financiers 6k buyers, 
open to anyone who wants to register. Topics incl.: 
foreign TV opportunities, navigating Euro film funds, 
rallying US dollars, coproducing ind. multimedia. 
Registration fee: $1 15 w/ $35 discount for members of 
FAF, Frameline, Cine Acccion & NAATA. Info/reg- 
istration: (415) 281-9777; e-mail: iffcomCgmedia- 
planet.com. 

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE 
HUMANITIES has set up an electronic bulletin 
board system that can be used to access agency guide- 
lines, deadlines, grant info, etc. The NEH BBS is 
available to all users with modems at (202) 606-8688 
(8-N-l). Connection w/ Internet, commercial net- 
works not necessary. For more info call (202) 606- 
8400. 

SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE holds 
extension education classes in fine art filmmaking. 
For more info or to register, call (415) 749-5554. 



Films • Tapes Wanted 

90's CHANNEL, embracing controversy 6k search- 



ing for programming that offers fresh approaches to 
TV, welcomes tapes for submission. Topics that have 
run on 90's Channel inch: Racism, (Framing the 
Panthers in Black and White); Jewish/Palestinian issues 
(We Dare to Speak); sexuality issues 6k programs on 
reproductive rights. Send 3/4" tapes to: The 90's 
Channel, 2010 14th St., #209; Boulder, CO 80302; 
(303) 442-8445. 

47 GALLERIES, computer bulletin board service 
that promotes ind. artists 6k producers nationally, is 
looking for narrative, experimental, doc, animation 
6k performance films/videos to be sold on VHS 
through bulletin board systems. Send: VHS, descrip- 
tion of tapes, resume, SASE to: 47 Galleries, 2924 
Bellevue Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026. 

ART IN GENERAL seeks video works 6k guest- 
curated video programs for new monthly screening 
series. All kinds of work welcome, from experimental 
film 6k video to home videos; doc 6k activist to public 
access works. Send VHS tape (cued), resume 6k/or 
brief statement 6k SASE. For more info, call Joanna 
Spitzner (212) 219-0473. 

ART ON FILM DATABASE wants to know: Have 
you produced a film, video or video disc on the visu- 
al arts? Send info on prod, to Program for Art on Film 
Database, computer index to over 19,000 prods on 
the visual arts. Interested in prods on all visual arts 
topics, 6k welcomes info on prods about artists of 
color 6k multicultural art projects. Send info to:' Art 
on Film Database, Program for Art on Film at 
Columbia University, 2875 Broadway, 2nd fl., NY, NY 
10025-7805; (212) 854-9570; fax: 854-9577. 

ARTISTS' CD (ROM) EXHIBITION, int'l exhibi- 
tion of work by artists using CD-ROM, is proposed 
for Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney, 
Australia in mid- 1995. Seeking innovative presenta- 
tions by artists using CD-ROM, of work in variety of 
media (eg., photography, video, slide). Artists 
requested to submit work for consideration; no origi- 
nal materials, please. Also interested in receiving info 
about discs planned for completion by early 1995. 
Institutions 6k writers welcome to send info about 
works by artists using CD-ROM that they consider to 
be of interest to curators. Deadline for submissions: 
Feb. 17. Send inquiries 6k material to: Mike Leggett; 
Artists' CD (ROM) Exhibition, c/o Museum of 
Contemporary Art, PO Box R1286; Sydney 2000 
Australia. 

BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION seeks 
films 6k videos by black ind. makers, directors, or pro- 
ducers for "Black Vision," portion of Screen Scene, 
weekly 1/2-hr. show that previews TV lineup 6k latest 
theatrical releases. Deadline: Ongoing. For more info, 
contact: Screen Scene, BET, 1899 Ninth St. NE, 
Washington, DC 20018; (202) 636-2400. 

BLACK VIDEO PERSPECTIVE, new community 

TV prod, in Atlanta area, seeks works for/by/about 
African Americans. For more info, contact: Karen L. 
Forest (404) 231-4846. 

BRONXNET (Bronx Community Cable 
Programming Corporation), nonprofit organization 
controlling 4 access channels on Bronx Cable- TV 
System, seeks works by ind. video- 6k filmmakers for 
access airing. Bronxnet produces programs, facilitates 




/Voftces 



6k assists com- 
munity in pro- 
ducing 6k cable- 
casting pro- 
grams tor, by 6k 
about Bronx. 
Contact: Fred 
Weiss, program 
director, (718) 960 



CAROUSEL, series for municipal 
cable channels 23 6k 49 in Chicago, seeks films/videos 
for children 12 yrs 6k under, any length, any genre. 
Send w/ appropriate release, list of credits 6k person- 
al into to: Carousel, c/o Screen Magazine, 720 N. 
Wabash, Chicago, IL 6061 1. Tapes returned if accom- 
panied by postage. 

CATHODE CAFE seeks short video-art interstitials 

to play between alternative -music videos on Seattle's 
TCI/Viacom Channel 29, Sundays 9:30 pm. Format: 
3/4" preferred; 1/2" OK. Contact: Stan LePard, 2700 
Aiki Ave. SW #305, Seattle, WA 981 16; (206) 937- 
2353. 

CELEBRATED CUCARACHA THEATER seeks 
16mm films for series of Tues. night screenings in Jan. 
6k Feb. 1995. Send 1/2" tapes to Chris Oldcorn/Janet 
Paparazzo, c/o Cucaracha, 500 Greenwich Street, NY, 
NY 10013. 

CINCINNATI ARTISTS' GROUP EFFORT 

seeks proposals for exhibitions, performances 6k 
audio/video/film works to show in their galleries. 
Experimental, traditional 6k collaborative projects 
encouraged. Contact: CAGE, 344 W 4th St., 
Cincinnati, OH 55202; (513) 381-2437. 

CINETECA DE CINE ACCION seeks film 6k 
video submissions by 6k about Latinos for regular 
screening series. Fees paid. Will hold preview tape for 
3-4 mos. Formats: 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", video. Contact: 
Cine Accion, 346 9th St., San Francisco, CA 94103; 
(415) 553-8135. 

CINEWOMEN SCREENING SERIES will show- 
case works of women filmmakers in ind. film commu- 
nity 6k is now accepting completed works on film 6k 
video for LA screenings. Please submit work on VHS 
tape by Jan. 14 along w/ $10 check payable to: 
Cinewomen, 9903 Santa Monica Blvd., ste. 461, 
Beverly Hills, CA 90212; (310) 855-8720. SASE for 
tape return. 

CITY TV, progressive municipal cable access chan- 
nel in Santa Monica, seeks work on seniors, disabled, 
children, Spanish-language 6k video art; any length. 
Broadcast exchanged for equip, access at state-of- 
the-art facility. Contact: Lisa Bernard, cable TV man- 
ager, City TV, 1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 
90401; (310) 458-8590. 

DATABASE 6k DIRECTORY OF LATIN AMER- 
ICAN FILM 6k VIDEO organized by Int'l Media 
Resources Exchange seeks works by Latin American 
6k US Latino ind. producers. To incl. work in this 
resource or for info, contact: Karen Ranucci, IMRE, 
124 Washington Place, NY, NY 10014; (212) 463- 
0108. 

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January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 53 



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(DCTV) accepts 3/4" & VHS tapes for open screen- 
ings & special series w/ focus on women, youth, mul- 
timedia performance video, Middle East, gay/lesbian, 
Native American, labor 6k Asian art. Contact: 
Jocelyn Taylor, DCTV, 87 Lafayette St., NY, NY 
10013: (212)941-1298. 

DYKE TV, weekly national cable-TV show, seeks 
films & video shorts (under 10 min.). For info, call 
(212) 343-9335 or fax: 9337. 

ECOMEDIA seeks film 6k video works for ecological 
screening series at the Blagden Alley Artscience 
Warehouse. All genres accepted; emphasis on ecolo- 
gy. Send 3/4" or VHS tape, info, or queries to 926 N 
St., Rear, NW, Washington, DC 20001; (202) 842- 
3577. 

EN CAMINO, KRCB, seeks works of 30-60 min. in 
Spanish 6k English concerning the Latino communi- 
ty. Formats: 3/4", 16mm. Contact: Luis Nong, Box 
2638, Rohnert Park, CA 94928. 

ESSENTIAL CINEMA GROUP continually 
accepts works for Ind. Short Cinema bimonthly film 
series. 16/3 5mm short films, 30 min. max. Seeking 
new experimental, narrative, doc & animation. Send 
preview tapes on VHS (NTSC, PAL) w/ return 
postage to: Pike Street Cinema, 1 18 Pike St., Seattle, 
WA 98101. For more info on ECG, write: 2011 Fifth 
Ave., #301, Seattle, WA 98121-2502; (206) 441- 
6181. 

EZTV seeks film/video shorts (under 20 min.) for 
L. A. -based UHF TV show. Submit 1/2" or 3/4" tapes. 
Narrative, experimental, doc. Contact: Jean Railla, 
EZTV 8547 Santa Monica Blvd., W Hollywood, CA 
90069. 

GREAT LAKES FILM & VIDEO seeks 16mm 6k 
videos for ongoing exhibition of gay/lesbian, Jewish, 
6k women's work. Experimental 6k animation are 
sought, as well as work fitting into program on the 
aesthetic/anti-aesthetic. Contact: Matt Frost or 
Michael Walsh, Great Lakes Video 6k Film, PO Box 
413, Milwaukee, WI 53201. 

HALCYON DAYS PRODUCTIONS seeks video 
segments (1-5 min.) by 15- to 25-year-olds for video 
compilation show. If piece is selected, you may have 
chance to be video correspondent for show. Work 
may be editorial, real-life coverage, political satire, 
slapstick — you decide. Just personalize. Submit VHS 
or Hi8 (returnable w/ SASE) to: Mai Kim Holley, 
Halcyon Days Prod., c/o Hi8, 12 West End Ave., 5th 
fl., NY, NY 10023; (212) 397-7754. 

HANDI-CAPABLE IN THE MEDIA, INC., non- 
profit organization, seeks video prods on people w/ 
disabilities to air on Atlanta's Public Access TV. No 
fees. Submit VHS or 3/4" tape to: Handi-Capable in 
the Media, Inc., 2625 Piedmont Rd., ste. 56-137, 
Atlanta, GA 30324. 

IN VISIBLE COLOURS FILM & VIDEO SOCI- 
ETY seeks videos by women of color for library col- 
lection. Work will be accessible to members, produc- 
ers, multicultural groups 6k educational institutions. 
For more info, contact: Claire Thomas, In Visible 
Colours, 119 West Pender, ste. 115, Vancouver, B.C. 
V6B1S5; (604)682-1116. 

INDEPENDENT FILM & VIDEO SHOWCASE, 

cable access show, seeks student 6k ind. films 6k 
videos to give artists exposure. Send films or video in 



3/4" format w/ paragraph about artist 6k his/her work. 
Send to: Box #1626, 4202 East Fowler Ave., Tampa, 
Florida 33620. 

INTL SCHOOL OF FILM 6k TELEVISION, cre- 
ated in 1986 as non-governmental institute by 
Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation for the New 
Latin American Cinema, is compiling audiovisual 
material produced in film schools based on, or 
inspired by, work of Nobel Prize founder. Send all info 
avail, by students from film or TV schools based on 
the work of Marquez, regardless of its place 6k date of 
prod., format 6k license clearance status. If possible, 
send VHS video (NTSC or PAL) of those projects 
produced by your school or avail, at your video 
library. For details, contact Lisandro Duque, fax: 
(537) 33 51 96; 33 53 41; e-mail: eictv(S ceniai.cu. 

LA VOZ LATINA seeks videotapes made by 
Latmas/os living in US for presentation at Festival 
Internacional de Video del Cono Sur in Argentina, 
Brazil, Chile, Paraguay 6k Uraguay in 1995. Any 
genre; under 40 min. Deadline: Jan. 15. Send VHS 
preview copy w/ desciption, reviews, resume, bio 6k 
SASE to: Luis Valdovino, Fine Arts Dept., University 
of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309; (303) 492-5482; 
fax: (303) 492-4886. 

LATINO COLLABORATIVE, bimonthly screen- 
ing series, seeks works by Latino film/videomakers. 
Honoraria paid. Send VHS preview tapes to: Latino 
Collaborative Bimonthly Screening Series, Vanessa 
Codorniu, 280 Broadway, ste. 412, NY, NY 10007; 
(212) 732-1121. 

LAUREL CABLE NETWORK, nonprofit in 
Maryland, seeks variety of works of all lengths 6k gen- 
res for regular access airing in 3/4", SVHS, or VHS. 
No payment 6k tapes cannot be returned. Submit 
tape 6k release form/letter to: Laurel Cable Network, 
8103 Sandy Spring Rd., Laurel, MD 20707, Attn: 
Bob Neuman. 

METRO SHORTS, program of Metropolitan Film 
Society, seeks 35mm prints, 15 min. or less, for regu- 
lar screenings. Subject matter needs to suit audience 
that would view film w/ R rating. VHS/S-VHS pre- 
view tape would be helpful. Two-way UPS ground 
shipping costs provided. Contact: Michelle Forren, 
exec, dir., Metropolitan Film Society, 3928 River 
Walk Dr., Duluth, GA 30136-61 13. 

MYPHEDUH FILMS, INC., nat'l distributor of 
Sankofa, is seeking new black ind. films to showcase 
in Black Preview Sunday series at Thalia Theatre in 
NYC. Student prods, welcome. Submissions may be 
any genre/length. For info, contact: Kathryn Bowser, 
Mypheduh Films, 100 E. 17th St., NY, NY 10003; 
(212) 505-1770; fax: 1670. 

NEW AMERICAN MAKERS, nationally recog- 
nized venue for new works by emerging 6k under-rec- 
ognized videomakers at Center for Arts in SF, seeks 
works that challenge boundaries of creative 
video/TV Videomakers receive honorarium of 
$2/min. for tapes. Send VHS tape, $15 entry fee 6k 
SASE to: New American Makers, PO Box 460490, 
San Francisco, CA 94146. 

NEW CITY PRODUCTIONS seeks works-in- 
progress 6k docs on all subjects for monthly screen- 
ings. Committed to promoting ind. community by 
establishing forum of new voices. Have professional 
large screen video 6k 16mm projectors. Prefer projects 



54 THE INDEPENDENT January /Feoruary 1 995 



originated on Hi8. Send cassettes to: New City 
Productions, 635 Madison Ave., ste. 1101, NY, NY 
10022; (212) 753-1326. 

NYU TV, channel 51 in NYC, is offering opportuni- 
ties for inds to showcase finished films 6k videos. 
Submit materials to: Linda Noble, 26 Washington 
Place, lstfl., NY, NY 10003. 

NYTEX PRODUCTIONS seeks video interviews 
from across US. Looking for political, entertainment, 
6k. PSAs in S-VHS or VHS. Send to: NyTex 
Productions, PO Box 303, NY, NY 10101-0303, Attn: 
Don Cevaro. 

OFFLINE, hour-long, biweekly, national public- 
access show, seeks ind. 6k creative works. Submissions 
should be 3/4", SVHS or VHS 6k. should not exceed 
20 min. (longer works will be considered for serializa- 
tion). For more info, contact: Greg Bowman, 203 
Pine Tree Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850; (607) 272-2613. e- 
mail address: 72137.3352Cacompuserve.com. 

ORGONE CINEMA, non-funded monthly 
film/video series, looking for handmade, nature, 
silent, random, noisy, sex, science, home, paranoid 6k 
perverse movies. All formats. Prefer VHS for preview. 
Deadline: Ongoing. Send to: Orgone Cinema 6k. 
Archive, 2238 Murray Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217. 

PLANET CENTRAL TELEVISION seeks broad- 
cast-quality films, videos 6k animation censored by 
US TV as too controversial or political. Bonus con- 
siderations for submissions that are smart, funny, sexy 
6k exhibit irreverent attitude. Send tape to: Jay Levin, 
director of program acquisitions, Planet Central 
Television, 309 Santa Monica Blvd., ste. 322, Santa 
Monica, CA 90401; (310) 458-4588. 

PRESCOTT COMMUNITY ACCESS CHAN- 
NEL requests non-commercial programs for local air- 
ing. No payment, but return by post guaranteed. 
Contact: Jeff Robertson, program coordinator, 
Channel 13, PO Box 885, Prescott, AZ; (602) 445- 
0909. 

REEL TIME AT P.S.I 22, ongoing quarterly screen- 
ing series, is accepting submissions of recent ind. film 
6k video works for 1995 season. Exhibition formats 
include S-8, 16mm, 3/4" & VHS. Send VHS submis- 
sion tapes, written promotion 6k return postage to: 
Curator, Reel Time, RS.122, 150 First Ave., NY, NY 
10009; (212) 477-5829 (x327). 

RIGHTS & WRONGS, weekly, nonprofit human 
rights global TV magazine series scheduled to resume 
broadcast in February seeks story ideas 6k footage for 
upcoming season. Last yr. 34 programs covering issues 
from China to Guatamala were produced. Contact: 
Danny Schechter or Rory O'Connor, exec, producers, 
The Global Center, 1600 Broadway, ste. 700, NY, NY 
10019; (212) 246-0202; fax: 2677. 

REBIS GALLERIES seeks works by artists working 
in video/film 6k computers. All subjects considered. 
Formats should be in VHS/Beta, 8mm, S-8, 16mm. 
For computers 3.5 disks in PC or low density Amiga 
files. Contracts to be negotiated. Contact: Rebis 
Galleries, 1930 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80210; 
(303) 698-1841. 

SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION wel- 
comes work of film/video artists for 1994-95 Southern 
Circuit tour of 6 artists to travel 10 days to 8 south- 
ern sites 6k present 1 show per city. No appl. form 



required. Submit VHS, 3/4" or 16mm film program of 
approximately 1-hr. in length (can be cued for 30 
min. section for judging purposes) in addition to 
resume 6k publicity. Submission deadline: Jan. 16. 
Send material to: South Carolina Arts Commission, 
Media Arts Center, 1800 Gervais Street, Columbia, 
SC 29201. Attn: Felicia Smith or Susan Leonard; 
(803) 734-8696. 

SHORT FILM & VIDEO: All genres, any medium, 
1:00 to 60:00 long. Unconventional, signature work 
in VHS or 3/4" for nat'l broadcast! Submit to: EDGE 
TV, 7805 Sunset Blvd., ste. 203, Los Angeles, CA 
90046. 

SHORT FILMS WANTED for Twilight Zone-type 
anthology series. Looking for short (up to 30 min.) 
films in color, covering suspense, thriller, fantasy, sci- 
ence fiction, action/adventure 6k light horror. Prefer 
strong narrative films w/ plots twists 6k surprise end- 
ings. For more info, call (310) 396-31 15. 

SHORTS SOUGHT by NYC producer 6k marketing 
co. for new TV programs being produced this spring. 
Planning cycle of 60-min. programs comprising 3-4 
thematically linked shorts, 20-min. max ea., book- 
ended by conversations w/about mediamakers. 
Submissions must have no entangling contracts & 
incl. synopsis, list of prior submissions, bio 6k SASE. 
Contact: Mitchell Banks, M6kL Banks, 330 Fifth 
Ave., ste. 304, NY, NY 10001; (212) 563-5944; fax: 
5949. 

SCULPTURE CENTER GALLERY invites video 
artists to submit installation concepts for new video 
program. Emerging 6k mid-career artists w/o affilia- 
tion should submit resume, narrative description, 
documentation of previous work on VHS tape, slides 
or photos, (incl. SASE) to: Sculpture Center, 167 E. 
69th St., NY, NY 10021. 

SUPER CAMERA, prod, of Office KE1, int'l TV 
company, seeks unique 6k never-before-seen footage. 
Areas incl. cutting edge of camera tech, footage that 
is dangerous to shoot, such as in volcanoes or under- 
water 6k events from both natural 6k physical science 
worlds. For more info, contact: Makiko Ito, Office 
KEI, 110 East 42nd St., ste. 1419, NY, NY 10017; 
(212) 983-7479; fax: 7591. 

UNQUOTE TELEVISION, 1/2-hr program dedi- 
cated to exposing new, innovative film 6k video 
artists, seeks ind. doc, narrative, experimental, per- 
formance works under 28 min. Reaches 10 million 
homes via program exchange nationwide. 1/2" 6k 3/4" 
dubs accepted. Submit to: Unquote TV, c/o DUTV, 
33rd 6k Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 
895-2927. 

URBAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY 
ARTS is accepting video 6k 16mm film in all genres 
for next season of programming. Fee paid if accepted. 
Send VHS tape w/ SASE to: Film Committee, UICA, 
88 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids MI 49503. 

VIEWPOINTS, KQED's showcase of ind. point-of- 
view works, seeks films 6k videos expressing "strong 
statements on important subjects." Submit VHS or 
3/4" tapes (1 1/2 hr. length preferred) to: Greg Swartz, 
Manager of Broadcast Projects 6k Acquisitions, 
KQED, 2601 Mariposa St., San Francisco, CA 941 10; 
(415) 553-2269. 

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You don't need an Aeroflot ticket 
to find compelling images from 
Russia. Now the full sweep of 
Russian history — from before the 
1917 Revolution to the revolution 
of today — is available in our com- 
prehensive film and video archive. 
To find out more, give us a call. 

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NYC, seeks visually exciting pieces in all genres (art, 
music 6k film on video). Under 20 min., 1/2", 3/4" 
dubs. No payment, videos credited. Send letter of 
permission to air material & video to: Jack Holland, 
5432 Edgewood PI., Los Angeles, CA 90019. 

WORLD AFRICAN NETWORK (WAN), first 
premium cable network for people of African descent 
worldwide, is accepting submissions for 1995 launch. 
Featuring films, docs, shorts, news & info, children's 
programs, sports, concerts, drama series & sitcoms. 
Send to: Eleven Piedmont Center, ste. 620, Atlanta, 
GA 30305; (404) 365-8850; fax: 365-8350. 

WYBE-TV35, Philadelphia's ind. public TV station, 
seeks work for series featuring film & video from ind. 
media artists from around nation. This 10-hour, 10- 
week series airs in weekly prime -time slot each 
Spring. All styles welcome. Shorts up to 30 minutes 
are preferred. Acquisition fee: $25/min. Deadline: 
Jan. 18. Entry forms: Through the Lens 5, WYBE- 
TV35, 6070 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19128; 
(215) 483-3900; fax: 6908. 

WNYC-TV seeks films/videos for new pnmetime 
series on NY inds. Doc. or experimental (incl. video 
art); under one hour; completed; all rights cleared. 
Pays $35/min. Send VHS, 3/4" or Betacam preview 
tape, to: NY Independents, c/o WNYC-TV, One 
Centre St., cm. 1450, NY, NY 10007. No phone calls, 
please. 

WOMEN OF COLOR in Media Arts Database 
seeks submissions of films 6k videos for database that 
incl. video tilmographies, bibliographical info 6k data. 
Contact: Dorothy Thigpen, Women Make Movies, 
462 Broadway, 5th fl., NY, NY 10013. 

WTN (WOMEN'S TELEVISION NETWORK) is 

one of Canada's newest specialty cable channels. On 
air in Jan. 1995, WTN is quality TV for women, by 
women 6k about women 6k their worlds. Shameless 
Shorts program incl. 30 min. of programmed short 
films/videos by Canadian 6* int'l directors producers. 
Broadcast 3 nights/wk. w/ repeats on weekend, series 
will showcase work created by women or work por- 
traying women's perspectives, stories 6k interests. All 
shorts incl. drama, animation, doc 6k experimental 
accepted for preview. Prefer 1 5 min. or less. Submit 
VHS copy of work w/ publicity material. License fees 
will be negotiated at that time. Address submissions 
to: Laura Michalchyshyn, programming coordinator, 
WTN, ste. 300-1661 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, 
Manitoba R3J 3T7. 

WYOU-TV, cable-access station in Madison, WI, 
seeks music-related videos for weekly alternative 
music show. Send 1/2" or 3/4" tapes. No payment; 
videos credited. Contact: WYOU-TV, 140 W Oilman 
St., Madison, WI 53703. 

XTV, a new, ind. cable TV channel, seeks student 6k 
ind. works from around country. For more info, call: 
Otto Khera (602) 948-0381. 



Opportunities • Gigs 

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR/LECTURER to teach 
all levels of film 6k video/doc. prod. Tenure track if 
assistant prof, non-tenure if lecturer. Position 
requires demonstrated ability 6k exp. in film/video 
prod. 6k evidence of strong teaching abilities. 



Commitment to building new program in dynamic 
Central Florida film industry. Candidate must engage 
in research/creative activity. Begin Aug. 1; send 
resume, 3 letters of recco 6k samples of prod", to: Dr. 
Rick Blum, Film Production Search Committee, 
Motion Picture Division, School of Communication, 
University of Central Florida, Orlando, FLA 32816- 
1344. Prog, is highly selective 6k maintains close 
working relationship w/ Disney/MGM, Universal, 6k 
other professional prod, facilities. Appls received by 
Jan. 20 will receive priority consideration. EEO/AA. 

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR sought by Dept. of 
Media Arts invites appls. for tenure-track faculty 
position to start fall 1995. Salary range $34,500- 
$36,500. Seek outstanding scholar who takes critical 
approach to study of media institutions. Areas of spe- 
cialization ind.: history 6k technology 6k emerging 
technologies; information society theory 6k telecom- 
munications; media organizations, management 6k 
policy processes. Responsibilities inch: teaching at 
grad 6k undergrad levels (lowe-division core course in 
media hisotry; upper-division 6k MA level courses in 
area of specialization); develop 6k sustain significant 
program of research 6k publication; supervise grad 
teaching assts 6k participate fully in work of dept. 
Minimum qualifications incl. earned doctorate 6k 
university-level teaching experience. Send curricu- 
lum vita; detailed statement of teaching 6k research 
interests 6k names/addresses of 3 refs to: Dr. Ellen R. 
Meehan, search committee chair, Dept. of Media 
Arts, 265 Modern Languages Bldg., University of 
Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721. EO/AA/ADA compli- 
ance employer. 

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF VIDEO PRO- 
DUCTION & CRITICISM, Hampshire College. 
F/T, fall 1995. Prefer candidates using doc. or mixed 
forms to represent oppressed minorities, or alterna- 
tives to dominant media. Critical/analytical approach 
to issues surrounding cultural prod, essential. 
Strengths in minority/3rd world representation or 
writing for or about media valued. Graduate degree 
and/or equivalent professional exp. req. Individua- 
lized liberal arts instruction in innovative setting, 
opportunity for cross-disciplinary teaching 6k 
research. Send letter, vita, 3 letters of recom. to: 
Video Production Search Committee, School of 
Communications 6k Cognitive Science, Hampshire 
College, Amherst, MA 01002. Appl. review beg. Jan. 
15. EOE/AA. Women 6k minorities encouraged to 
apply. 

DEAN, College of Arts and Architecture, Montana 
State University, sought. Must have terminal degree 
or excellent record to achieve; progressive record of 
successful administration in college, university, or arts 
advocacy organization. AA/EO/ADA/Veterans 
Preference. Request complete appl. materials from: 
Dean, Arts/Architecture Search, 250 Reid Hall, 
MSU, Bozeman, MT 59717; (406) 994-6752; fax: 
1854. 

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER will help inds find out- 
lets for product. Finished works only incl. films, docs, 
TV pilots 6k other quality product. Please send work 
on VHS to: John Gabriel Matonti, executive produc- 
er; c/o Matonti Enterprises, Inc., 26 Lake Shore Dr., 
Montville, NJ 07045. 

VIDEO CAMERAWOMEN needed to work as 
stringers covering local events throughout US for 



56 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



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Diverse, committed, 
opinionated, and 
fiercely indepen- 
dent — these are the 
video and filmmak- 
ers who make up 
the national mem- 
bership of AIVF. 
Documentary and features filmmak- 
ers, animators, experimentalists, dis- 
tributors, educators, students, cura- 
tors — all concerned that their work 
make a difference — find the 
Association of Independent Video 
and Filmmakers, the national service 
organization for independent media 
producers, vital to their professional 
lives. Whether it's our magazine, The 
Independent Film & Video Monthly, 
or the organization raising its collec- 
tive voice to advocate for important 
issues, AIVF preserves your indepen- 
dence while letting you know you're 
not alone. 

AIVF helps you save time and money 
as well. You'll find you can spend 
more of your time (and less of your 
money) on what you do best — getting 
your work made and seen. To succeed 
as an independent today, you need a 
wealth of resources, strong connec- 
tions, and the best information avail- 
able. So join with more than 5,000 
other independents who rely on AIYF 
to help them succeed. JOIN AIVF 
TODAY! 

Here's what AIVF membership 
offers: 

THE INDEPENDENT FILM & 
VIDEO MONTHLY 

Membership provides you with a 



year's subscription CO The 
Independent. Thought-provoking 

features, news, and regular columns 
on business, technical, and legal mat- 
ters. Plus festival listings, funding 
deadlines, exhibition venues, and 
announcements of member activities 
and new programs and services. 
Special issues highlight regional activ- 
ity and tocus on subjects including 
media education and the new tech- 
nologies. 

FESTIVAL SERVICES 

AIVF arranges screenings for festival 
representatives, handles customs and 
group shipping of members' materials 
to foreign festivals, and publishes the 
AIVF Guide to International Film 
and Video Festivals — considered the 
definitive resource in the field. We 
also host periodic evenings with festi- 
val consultants for members to 
receive personalized counseling on 
strategy and placement. 

ACCESS 

Membership allows you Co join fellow 
AIVF members at intimate events 
featuring festival directors, producers, 
distributors, and flinders. 

COMMUNITY 

We are initiating monthly member 
get-togethers in cities across the 
country; call the office for the one 
nearest you. Plus members are carry- 
ing on active dialogue online — creat- 
ing a "virtual community" for inde- 
pendents to share information, 
resources, and ideas. 

ADVOCACY 

Members receive periodic advocacy 



alerts, with updates on important leg- 
islative issues affecting the indepen- 
dent field and mobilization tor collec- 
tive action. 

INSURANCE 

Members are eligible to purchase dis- 
counted personal and production 
insurance plans through AIVF suppli- 
ers. A wide range of health insurance 
options are available, as well as special 
liability, E&.O, and production plans 
tailored for the needs of low-budget 
mediamakers. 

TRADE DISCOUNTS 

A growing list of businesses across the 
country 7 offer AIVF members dis- 
counts on equipment and auto 
rentals, film processing, transfers, 
editing, and other production necessi- 
ties. 

WORKSHOPS, PANELS, AND 
SEMINARS 

Members get discounts on events cov- 
ering the whole spectrum of current 
issues and concerns affecting the 
field, ranging from business and aes- 
thetic to technical and political top- 
ics. 

/NFORA4AT/ON 

We distribute a series of books on 
financing, funding, distribution, and 
production; members receive dis- 
counts on selected titles. AIVF's staff 
also can provide information about 
distributors, festivals, and general 
information pertinent to your needs. 
Our library houses information on 
everything from distributors to sample 
contracts to budgets. 



MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

Individual/Student Membership 

Year's subscription to The Independent • Access to all plans and discounts • 
Festival/Distribution/Library services • Information Services • Discounted 
admission to seminars • Book discounts • Advocacy action alerts • Eligibility 
to vote and run for board of directors 

Non-profit Organizational/Business & Industry Membership 

All the above benefits, except access to insurance plans 
Representative may vote and run for board of directors 
Special mention in The Independent 

Library Subscription 

Year's subscription to The Independent only 

JOIN AIVF TODAY 



Membership Rates 

Q $25/student (enclose copy of student ID) 

□ $45/individual 

□ $75/library subscription 

Q $ 1 00/non-profit organization 

□ $150/business & industry 

□ Magazines are mailed Second-class; add $20 for 
First class mailing 



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ame 



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Total amount enclosed (check or money order ) 
Or please bill my □ Visa □ MC 



Exp. date I II I 



Signature 



Mail to AIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, NY, NY 10012. 

Or charge by phone (212) 473-3400 or by fax (212) 677-8732 









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(212) 343-9335; fax: 9337. 



Publications 

AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM STATISTICS & 
MARKETING STRATEGIES is thorough volume 
of data of value to any African American filmmaker 
trying to raise funds. Incl. are stats on profits of black- 
directed films since 1970 & numbers for theatrical 
releases & home video. Send $29.95 to: Greener 
Grass Prods, 1041 W. 98th St., Chicago, IL 60643; 
(312) 779-8717. 

MONEY FOR FILM & VIDEO ARTISTS, publi- 
cation listing more than 190 sources of support for 
ind. film- & videomakers, is avail, for $14.95 + sekh. 
Contact: Doug Rose, ACA Books, dept. 25, 1285 
Ave. of the Americas, 3rd fl., area M, NY, NY 10019. 

NATIONAL VIDEO RESOURCES' Strategic 
Plan, a 24-page booklet on NVR's strategic planning 
process 6k results. For free copy, write or call: 
National Video Resources, Inc., 73 Spring St., ste. 
606, NY, NY 10012; (212) 274- 



PROTECTING ARTISTS & THEIR WORK, 

publication of People for the American Way, answers 
questions regarding artists' rights as well as federal & 
state law. To request copy, call People for the 
American Way (202) 467-4999. 

SLX ROUTES TO FILM FINANCING, free tip 
sheet published by Hollywood Film Institute, breaks 
down 6 basic ways producers can finance films. For 
free copy, contact: Hollywood Film Institute, PO Box 
481252, Dept. 1, Los Angeles, CA 90048; (213) 933- 
3456. 

VIDEOS FOR A CHANGING WORLD, new cat- 
alog of multicultural &. social issue video docs. Videos 
in collection relate to common themes of building 
bridges across cultures 6k working for grassroots social 
change. Topics inch: indiginous peoples, Central 
America, environmental issues, cross-cultural music 
6k theater, oral history, etc. Avail, free. Contact: 
Turning Tide Productions, PO Box 864, Wendell, 
MA 01379; (800) 557-6414, (508) 544-8313; fax: 
7989. 

WHO FUNDS PTV? CPB pamphlet containing list- 
ings of public-TV series, entities, 6k organizations that 
provide funding to ind. producers. To obtain copy of 
third edition, send SASE to: Who Funds PTV.', CPB 
Publications Office, 901 E St. NW, Washington, D.C. 
20004-2037. 



Resources • Funds 

BRAVO NETWORK announces "Arts for Change" 
award of $2,500 to arts organizations promoting pro- 
jects w/ the "positive 6k meaningful impact the arts 
can have on a young person's life." Sponsorship of a 
local cable company must be obtained for eligibility. 
Deadline for submission of appl. is Feb. 1 . For forms 
and info write: Bravo at 150 Crossways Park W, 
Woodbury, NY 11797; (516) 364-2222. 

CAROL FIELDING GRANTS for students in film 
or video. $4,000 for prod.; $1,000 for research. 
University Film and Video Assoc. (UFVA) 6k 



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University Film and Video Foundation (UFVF) offer 
grants for student projects. Must be undergrad or 
grad student 6k sponsored by faculty who is active 
member of UFVA. Deadline: Jan. 15. Awards 
announced by March 3 1 . Send 3 copies of resume w/ 
SS#; 1-pg. description of project incl. statement of 
purpose, indication of resources avail. & summary of 
prod, or research project; statement by sponsoring 
UFVA member indicating willingness to serve as 
supervisor; 1-pg. budget, indicating what portion of 
project will be supported by grant. For narrative 
prods., incl. copy of script (up to 30 min.); for docs, 
incl. short treatment (limit 1 hr.). For experimental or 
animated, incl. treatment ek/or storyboard. For 
research projects, incl. description of methodology to 
be employed & statement indicating relationship of 
proposed study to previous research in field. Send to: 
J. Stephen Hank, Dept. of Drama 6k Commun- 
ications, U. of New Orleans, Lakefront, New Orleans, 
LA 70148. 

CENTER FOR MEDIA, CULTURE AND HIS- 
TORY AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY announces 
Rockefeller Humanities Fellowships. Scholars, media 
makers & cultural activists invited to apply for 1- or 
2-semester residencies to develop projects on how 
social movements 6k countercultural communities, 
past & present, have used film, video & TV to forge 
collective identities around issues such as AIDS, 
labor, feminism, ecology, 6k the rights of gay men 6k 
lesbians. Deadline: Jan. 20. Contact: Barbara Abrash 
or Faye Ginsburg, NYU Center for Media, Culture 4k 
History, 25 Waverly Place, NY, NY 10003; (212) 998- 
3759. 

CHICAGO RESOURCE CENTER awards grants 
to nonprofits who serve gay 6k lesbian community. For 
more info, contact: Chicago Resource Center, 104 S. 
Michigan Ave., ste. 1220, Chicago, IL 60603; (312) 
759-8700. 

CREATIVE SCREENWRITERS GROUP, nat'l 
organization dedicated to advancement of writing, is 
launching free service for everyone interested in 
improving their writing skills. CSG will provide assis- 
tance to anyone interested in joining a writers' group 
in his/her community. CSG also provides info on how 
to form new groups. Send name, address 6k phone w/ 
description of writing interests 6k SASE to: Creative 
Screenwriters Group, 518 9th St. NE, ste. 308, 
Washington, DC 20002. 

DCTV ARTISTIN-RESIDENCE is now accepting 
appls. for $500 worth of equipment access on an 
ongoing basis w/in one year. When 1 funded project is 
complete, DCTV will review appls. on file 6k select 
next project. Preference given to projects already 
underway. For appl., send SASE to: AIR, c/o DCTV, 
87 Lafayette St., NY, NY 10013-4435. 

HUMANITIES PROJECTS IN MEDIA adminis- 
tered by the NEH have following deadlines: March 3 
for projects beginning after Oct. 1, 1995 6k Sept. 
1995 (specific day not yet avail.) for projects begin- 
ning after April 1, 1996. 20 copies of appl. required 
on or before deadline. For appl., guidelines, write: 
National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of 
Public Programs, Humanities Projects in Media, rm. 
420, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 
20506; (202) 606-8278. 

INSTITUTE OF NOETIC SCIENCES, thru gift 
from Hartley Film foundation, will grant $10,000 for 



58 THE INDEPENDENT January /February' 1 995 



prod, of film or video addressing topics of relevance to 
Institute interests (incl. consciousness research, heal- 
ing, death 6k dying, sustainable development, etc.). 
Deadline: March 1. Call or write: IONS, 475 Gate 
Five Rd., #300, Sausahto, CA 94965; (415) 331- 
5650. 

GEORGE FOSTER PEABODY AWARDS, recog- 
nizing distinguished achievement & meritorious pub- 
lic service by radio 6k TV networks, producing orgs, 
cable TV orgs, 6k individuals, welcomes entries. TV 
submissions must be on first gen. 3/4" U-matic w/o 
visible time-code window. Also submit 1/2" VHS 
copy per entry for judging. Each TV entry must be 
submitted in North American NTSC standard, w/ 
protective case 6k entry fee of $125 in U.S. currency. 
Deadline: Jan. 13. For details call Barry Sherman at 
(706) 542-3787; fax: -9273. 

LEDIG HOUSE WRITER'S COLONY offers pub- 
lished writers 6k translators quiet workplace, meals, 
lodging, 6k meetings w/ other writers at Ledig House- 
in Columbia County, NY. 2-month sessions 3 times/yr. 
For appl. info contact: Ledig House, ART/OMI, 55 
5th Ave., 15th fl, NY, NY 10003; (212) 206-6060. 

LOUISIANA CENTER FOR CULTURAL 
MEDIA now makes professional camera packages 6k 
cuts-only editing systems avail, free to indivs. who 
agree to produce arts 6k heritage programming regu- 
larly 6k exclusively for the Cultural Cable Channel of 
New Orleans. To qualify, interested parties must be 
members of Cultural- Communications ($35/yr.) 6k 
will have to produce minimum of 6 shows 6k com- 
plete at least 1 program per month. For more info, 
contact: Mark J. Sindler, exec, director, Cultural 
Cable Channel (504) 529-3366. 

MACDOWELL COLONY seeks film/video artists 
for residencies of up to 2 mos. at multidisciplinary 
artist community in Peterborough, NH. Deadlines: 
Jan. 15 (May-Aug. session), April 15 (Sept. -Dec), 
Sept. 15 (Jan.-April). Ability to pay not factor for 
acceptance. Ltd. travel grants avail. Write or call for 
info, appl.: MacDowell Colony, 100 High St., 
Peterborough, NH 03458; (603) 924-3886. 

NY FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS awards 

Artists' Fellowships to individual NY artists. 
Applicants must be 18 year 6k older, resident of NY 
for at least 2 yrs. Cannot be grad or undergrad stu- 
dent, NYFA recipient of the last 3 yrs, or employee or 
board member of foundation. For more info, call 
NYFA at (212) 366-6900. 

ORAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION announces 
start of awards program recognizing outstanding work 
in oral history in several cats. In 1995, award will be 
made for nonprint format production, incl. film, 
video, radio program or series, exhibition, or drama 
that makes significant use of oral history to interpret 
historical subject. Deadline: April 1. For more info, 
write: Jan Dodson Barnhart, executive secretary, Oral 
History Association, Box 3968, Albuquerque, NM 
87190-3968. 

PENNSYLVANIA HISTORICAL 6k MUSEUM 
COMMISSION invites appls for 1995-96 scholars- 
in-residence program. Provides support for f/t 
research study at any of facilities maintained by 
Commission for 4 to 12 consecutive weeks between 
May 1 6k April 30, 1996 at rate of $l,200/mo. 
Program open to college 6k university affiliated schol- 



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Januarv/Februarv 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 59 



ars, incl. grad students, ind. researchers, public-sector 
professionals, writers & others. Deadline: Jan. 20. For 
info, contact: Division of History, PA Historical 6k 
Museum Commission, Box 1026, Harrishurg, PA 
17108; (717) 787-3034. 

POLLOCK-KRASNER FOUNDATION gives 
financial assistance to artists of recognizable merit & 
financial need working as mixed- media or installa- 
tion artists. Grants awarded throughout yr., $1,000- 
$30,000. For guidelines, write: Pollock-Krasner 
Foundation, 725 Park Ave., NY, NY 10021. 

PRINCESS GRACE FOUNDATION-USA makes 
awards to thesis film students enrolled in accredited 
film programs. Please write to determine if your 
school/university is eligible to apply. Jennifer Reis, 
Director of Grants Programs, Princess Grace 
Foundation, 725 Park Ave., NY, NY 10021. 

SET IN PHILADELPHIA Screenwriting Comp- 

etititon is accepting submissions nationally for origi- 
nal feature-length screenplays set primarily in 
Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. All genres 
accepted; scripts judged on quality 6k extent they tell 
genuine Philadelphia story. Awards: $3,000 prize 
money, fest passes, story notes by industry profession- 
al. Postmark deadline: Jan. 20. Entry fee: $20. 
Competition sponsored by Philadelphia Fest of World 
Cinema produced by International House and 
Greater Philadelphia Film Office. Winner(s) 
announced May 1995. Submissions not accepted w/o 
completed appl. For guidelines/form, send SASE to: 
PFWC/Screenwriting Competition, Int'l House, 3701 
Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 895- 
6593. 




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SOUTHERN HUMANITIES MEDIA FUND 

accepting grant proposals for film/video prods of 
American South from nonprofit orgs in AL, GA, KY, 
MS, NC, SC, TN, VA 6k WV Deadline: Mar. 6. For 
appls 6k info, contact: Virginia Foundation for the 
Humanities 6k Public Policy, 145 Ednam Dr., 
Charlottesville, VA 22903-4629; (804) 924-3296. 

TRAVEL GRANTS FUND FOR ARTISTS makes 
grants to US artists to enhance their professional 
growth through short-term int'l experiences that 
enable them to collaborate w/ colleagues. Indiv. 
media arists should contact Arts International for 
1994 appls. & guidelines at: Arts Int'l, 809 United 
Nations Plaza, NY, NY 10017; (212) 984-5370. 

UTAH ARTS COUNCIL offers grants to encourage 
development, to support realization of specific artistic 
ideas 6k to recognize significant contribution artists 
make to creative environment of Utah. Deadline: 
Feb. 1. For info, contact: Tey Haines, Utah Arts 
Council, 617 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 
84102-1177; (801) 533-5895. 

VISUAL STUDIES WORKSHOP MEDIA CEN- 
TER in Rochester, NY, accepts proposals on ongoing 
basis for its Media Access program. Artists, ind. pro- 
ducers 6k nonprofits awarded access at reduced rates, 
prod. 6* postprod. equipment for work on noncom- 
mercial projects. For an appl., tour, or more info, call 
(716) 442-8676. 

WRITERS WORKSHOP NATIONAL SCRIP- 
WRITING CONTEST is accepting scripts from 
throughout US. 5 to 6 winners will be chosen to 
receive $500 cash award. Winners also receive free 
tuition for critical evaluation of scripts before panel of 



motion picture agents, producers, writers, 6k direc- 
tors. This program continues throughout the year. For 
submission info, send legal size SASE w/ 52i postage 
to: Willard Rogers, Writers Workshop Nat'l Contest, 
Box 69799, Los Angeles, CA 90069; (213) 933-9232. 



TV's Bright Spots 

Quentin Tarantino, Julie Dash, and Gregg 
Araki on public TV? They and other indepen- 
dent filmmakers are coming soon as part of a 
10-part series, American Cinema, on the art 

and industry of film in Hollywood and 

beyond. Produced by the Center for Visual 

History in NYC, KCET/Los Angeles, and the 

BBC, the series begins on Monday, January 

23, with an examination of "Hollywood 
style", then turns to the studio system and 
works its way through the Western, film noir, 
the romantic comedy, the combat film, and 
other genres. The last two episodes look at 
"The Film School Generation" and "The Edge 
of Hollywood" (running consecutively, from 9- 
1 1 pm, Feb. 27). Also appearing on the latter 
program are the Coen brothers, Jim Jarmusch, 
Spike Lee, Tom Kalin, John Pierson, Jim 
Stark, and others. Tune in to see how these 
independent stalwarts define and defend inde- 
pendent film before a national audience. 









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Statement of Ownership 
Management and Circulation 

(Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685) 

1. A. Title of Publication: The Independent Film & 
Video Monthly 

B. Publication number: 10778918 

2. Date of filing: 9/29/94 

3. Frequency of issue: Monthly 

A. Number of issues published annually: 10 

B. Annual subscription price: S45/individual: S25/stu- 
dent: $75/library: SI50/business & industry; 
SlOO/non-profit organization 

4. Complete mailing address of known office of publi- 
cation: 625 Broadway, 9th fl. New York, New York 
10012-2611 

5. Complete mailing address of the headquarters of 
general business offices of the publisher: 625 
Broadway, 9th fl., New York, New York 10012-261 1 

6. Full names and complete mailing address of the pub- 
lisher and editor: Publisher: Ruby Lerner. 625 
Broadway, 9th fl.. New York. New York 10012-261 1 . 
Editor: Patricia Thomson. 625 Broadway. 9th fl.. New 
York. New York 10012-261 1. Managing Editor: 
Michele Shapiro, 625 Broadway. 9th fl.. New York. 
New York 10012-2611. 

7. Owner: The Foundation for Independent Video and 
Film (FIVF). 625 Broadway. 9th fl.. New York. New 
York 1 00 1 2-26 1 1 .( nonprofit foundation ) 

8. None. 

9. For completion by nonprofit organizations authorized 
to mail at special rates (DMM Section 424.12 only). 
The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this orga- 
nization and the exempt status for Federal income tax 
purposes has not changed during the preceding 12 
months. 

10. Extent and nature of circulation: 

A. Total No. Copies (Net Press /f»«:Average No. 
Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 months: 
10,000; Actual no. of Single Issue Published Nearest to 
Filing Date: 9,800. 

B. Paid and/or Requested Circulation 1. Sales through 
dealers and carriers, street vendors, and counter sales; 
Average No. Copies Eachlssue During Preceding 12 
months: 4.500. Actual no. of Single IssuePublished 
Nearest to Filing Date: 4,157. 

C. Total paid and/or requested circulation (Sum of 
10BI and I0B2): Average No. Copies Eachlssue During 
Preceding 12 months: 9.000. Actual no. of Single 
IssuePublished Nearest to Filing Date: 9.229. 

D. Free distribution by Mail. Carrier or other means; 
Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 
months: 50. Actual no. of Single IssuePublished 
Nearest to Filing Date: 65. 

E. Total Distribution (Sum of C and D): Average No. 
Copies Eachlssue During Preceding 12 months: 9.050. 
Actual no. of Single IssuePublished Nearest to Filing 
Date: 9,294. 

F. Copies Not Distributed; I . Office use, left over.unac- 
counted, spoiled after printing: Average No. Copies 
Each Issue During Preceding 12 months: 500. Actual 
no. of Single IssuePublished Nearest to Filing Date: 
506. 2. Return from News Agents; Average No. Copies 
Each Issue During Preceding 12 months: 450; Actual 
no. of Single IssuePublished Nearest to Filing Date: 
Not avail. 

G. TOTAL (Sum of E, Fl and 2-should equal net press 
run shown in A); Average No. Copies Each Issue 
During Preceding 12 months: 10.000; Actual no. of 
Single IssuePublished Nearest to Filing Date: 9.800. 

1 1 . I certify that the statements made by me above are 
correct and complete. 

(Signed) Patricia Thomson 
Editor 



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GREAT RESOURCE BOOHS FROM FIVF 

ORDER TODBV — SUPPLIES HRE LIMITED! 





AIVF Guide to International Film & Video Festivals 

by Kathryn Bowser 

published by FIVF 

238 pages, $29.95/524.95 member price 

The 3rd edition of FIVF's bestseller is a completely indexed and easy-to-read 
compendium of over 600 international film and video festivals, with contact 
information, entry regulations, dates and deadlines, categories, accepted 
formats, and much more. The Guide includes information on all types of 
festivals: small and large, specialized and general, domestic and foreign. 

An important reference source which belongs in the library of every med 
professional: independent producers, distributors, festival directors, 
programmers, curators, exhibitors. 



AIVF Guide to Rim and Video Distributors 

A Publication of the Foundation for Independent Video and Film 

edited by Kathryn Bowser 

184 pages, S19.50 

A must-read for independent film and video-makers searching for the right distributor The 
AIVF Guide to Film and Video Distributors presents handy profiles of over 150 commercial 
and nonprofit distributors, practical information and company statistics on the type of work 
handled, primary markets, relations with producers, marketing and promotion, foreign 
distribution and contacts. Fully indexed, with additional contact lists of cable/satellite 
services and public television outlets, as well as a bibliography. This is the best 
compendium of distribution and information especially tailored for independent 
producers available. 



Alternative Visions 

Distributing Independent Video in a Home Video World 

by Debra Franco 

a co-publication of AFI and FIVF, 181 pages 

$12.95/59.95 AIVF and AFI member price 

Video cassettes and video stores have changed forever the economics of distribution for all 
moving image media -including alternative films and tapes. What has happened to 
institutional markets? What promise does home video distribution really hold for non- 
mainstream work? Chapters cover selling to schools, libraries, and individual consumers 
Includes detailed case studies of the marketing of eight independent works. 
Essential reading for anyone with an interest in home video distribution. 



SEEJRDER CARD FOB ORDERING INFORMRTION 




Continued from p. 64 

When: Jan. 17, Feb. 21, 6-8 pm 

Where: The back room at Telephone Bar, 149 2nd 

Avenue (9th St.) 

Contact: Jennifer Lytton (212) 473-3400 

Washington, DC: 

Meeting not set at press time. 

Contact: Sowande Tichawonna (202) 232-0353 

MOVING FORWARD ... 

Members are organizing AIVF salons in Austin 
and Dallas, TX, Stamford, CT, Rochester, NY, 
Durham, NC, Madison, WI, Kansas City, MO and 
Phoenix, AZ! For specific information on where 
and when, or to talk to us about starting some- 
thing in your area, call Pam Calvert (212) 473- 
3400. 

PRODUCTION INSURANCE 
UPDATE 

After an excruciating quantity of legal paperwork 
with the State Insurance Commissioner to change 
the carrier since the last one went out of business, 
we are pleased to announce that we are once again 
able to offer discounted commercial general liabil- 
ity insurance to our members through Reliance 
Insurance Co. of Illinois. Coverage is available to 
members in almost all states, basic premium is 
$500-$ 1500 depending on term. For info, contact 
broker Coulter and Sands (212) 742-9850. 

...AND A HEALTH 
INSURANCE REMINDER 

California members who are applying for the 
Cigna health policy during the open enrollment 
period should remember the January 30, 1995 
postmark deadline for returning these materials 
to TEIGET To recap the information in the 
December magazine, this health plan is open to all 
applicants regardless of medical history during the 
open enrollment period only. Coverage may begin 
January 1, February 1, or March 1, but the dead- 
line is the same regardless of the date the policy 
begins. Members may choose between an HMO 
and a combination plan that allows you to go out- 
side the HMO network. For specific info and 
appl, contact: TEIGET, 845 3rd Ave., NY, NY 
10022; (212) 758-5675; (800) 886-7504. 

TRADE DISCOUNT UPDATE 

The New York office of Studio Film and Tape is 
expanding their discount offer to AIVF members. 
In addition to offering a five percent discount on 
Kodak short- ends and recans, they will also offer a 
10 percent discount on new Fuji film. They are at 
630 9th Ave., NYC; contact John Troyan, (212) 
977-9330. At press time, we are contacting 
Studio's LA branch to negotiate a similar dis- 
count; if we are successful, it will be announced in 
the March issue of the magazine. 



62 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 






CALL FOR NOMINATIONS 

It's not too soon to begin thinking about nomina- 
tions for the AIVF board of directors. Board mem- 
bers are elected to a three -year term of office; the 
board gathers 4x/yr in NYC for weekend meetings 
(AIVF pays the travel costs if you live elsewhere). 
We have an active board; members must be 
prepared to set aside time to fulfill board responsi- 
bilities, which include: 

• Attendance at all board meetings and participa- 
tion in conference calls when necessary; 

• Prep for meetings by reading advance materials; 

• Active participation in one or more committees 
as determined by organization's needs and as request- 
ed by board chair or exec, director; fulfillment of 
commitments within agreed-upon guidelines; 

• General support for the executive director/staff. 
Board nominations must be made by current 

AIVF members in good standing; you may nomi- 
nate yourself. Board members must be at least 19 
years old. To make a nomination, send or fax 
(212/677-8732) the name, address, and telephone 
number of the nominee and nominator; we cannot 
accept nominations over the phone. Deadline: 
Friday, April 7 at AIVF's annual meeting. 



AivFONvgLiNe" 

Find information, technical tips, advocacy 

updates, and member gossip, questions & news 

on AIVF's America Online niche. 

KEYWORD: A B B A T E 

Look for AIVF under the 
ABBATE message center topics. 




In upcoming issues: 

• Inside public TV: What is a Program 
Director's role and how can media- 
makers reach them. 7 

• The hows and whys of single -person 
shoots. 

• Feminist Film Theory and Female 
Directors 

• The National Endowment for the 
Humanities: An update and interview 
with Media Program officers. 

• Intellectual Property Rights in the 
New Information Age. 

Plus, festival reviews of Sundance and 
Raindance, the Hamptons Film 
Festival, and much more! 



The Foundation for Independent Video and Film (FTVF) , the foundation affiliate of the Association 
for Independent Video and Filnimakers (ATVF), supports a variety of programs and sen-ices for the 
independent media community, including publication of The hvHependent, operation of the Festival 
Bureau, seminars and workshops, and an information clearing house. None of this work would be pos- 
sible without the generous support of the ATVF membership and the following organizations: 

The Center for Arts Criticism, Gmsolidated Edison Company of New York, John D. and Catherine T 
Mac Arthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Video Resources, New York State Gxincil i in 
the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation tor the Visual Arts, Inc. 

We also wish to thank the following individuals and organizational members: 

Benefactors: Patrons: Sponsors: 

Invin W. Young Jeffrey Levy-Hinte Ralph Arlyck, George C Stoney 

Business/Industry Members: 

BKL Productions, New York, NY; Blackside Inc., Boston, MA; Burtn Mountain Films, Batesville, VA; CA. 
Productions, New York, NY; Creative Image Enterprises, Miami, FL; Fallon McEUigott, Minneapolis, MN; 
Greenwood/Cooper Home Video, Los Angeles, CA; KC Productions, Inc., Aiken, SC; KJM3 Entertainment 
Group, New York, NY; Lamp Inc., Capitan, New Mexico; Learning Seed Co., Kildeer, IL; Joseph W McCarthy, 
Brooklyn, NY; Passport Cinemas, Albany, NY; Barbara Roberts, New York, NY; Sandbank Films, Hawthorne, NY; 
Scene Tech, Plymouth, MI; Tellunde Film Festival, Tellunde, CO; Tribune Pictures, New York, NY; URBAN 
Productions, Glebe, Australia; Washington, Square Films, New York, NY; TV 17, Madison, AL; White Night 
Productions, San Diego, CA; WNET/13, NY, NY; Paul Van Der Grift, Princeton, NJ 

Nonprofit Members 

ACS Network Productions, Washington, DC; Alternate Current, New York, NY; American Civil Liberties 
Union, New York, NY; American Film Insntute, Los Angeles, CA; Ann Arlxr Community Access TV Ann Arbor, 
Ml; Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, MI; Appabhop, Whitesbuig, KY; John Armstrong, Brooklyn, NY; The 
Asia Society, New York, NY; Assemblage, New York, NY; Athens Center for Film & Video, Athens, OH; Bennu 
Productions, Yonkers, NY; Benton Foundation, Washington, DC; Black Pianet Productions, New York, NY; 
Blackside, Inc., Boston, MA; Breckenridge Festival of Film, Brerlrenridge, CO; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA; 
Carved Image Productions, New Yoik, NY; Center for Investigative Reporting, San Francisco, CA; Center for New 
Media, New York, NY; Chicago Access Corp., Chicago, IL; Chicago Video Project, Chicago, IL; Cituma LTDA 
Film and Video Productions, Bogota, Columbia; Coe Film Associates, New York, NY; Colelli Productions, 
Columbus, OH; Columbia College, Chicago, IL; Columbus Community Cable Acess, Columbus, OH; Command 
Communications, Rye Brook, NY; Common \foice Films, New York, NY; MHCC Communication Arts, Gresham, 
OR Community Television Network, Chicago, IL; Denver International Film Society, Denver, CO; State Univ. of 
New York-Buffalo, Buffalo, NY; Documentary Resource Crx, Lemont, PA; Duke Univ., Durham, NC; Dyke TV 
New York, NY; Eclipse Communications, Springfield, MA; Edison-Black Mana Film Festival, Jersey City, NJ; 
Educational Video Center, New "fork, NY; Edwards Films, Eagle Bridge, NY; Empowerment Project, Chapel Hill, 
NC; Eximus Company, Fort Lauderdale, FL; The Film Crew, Woodland Hilk, CA; Fox Chapel High School, 
Pittsburgh, PA; Gay Men's Health Crisis, New York, NY; Great Lakes Film and Video, Milwaukee, WI; Idaho State 
Univ., Pocatello, ID; Image Film Video Center, Atlanta, GA; International Cultural Programming, New York, NY; 
International Audiochrome, Rye, NY; International Film Seminars, New York, NY; ITVS, St. Paul, MN; The Jewish 
Museum, New York, NY; Komplex Studio Merdeka, Selangor, Malaysia; Little City Foundation/Media Arts, 
Palatine, IL; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach. CA; Manhattan Neighborhood Network, New York, NY; 
Mesilla Valley Film Society, Mesflb, NM; Milestone Entertainment, Irving, TX; Miranda Smith Productions, 
Boulder, CO; Missoula Community Access, Missoula MT NAATA, San Francisco, CA; NAMAC, Oakland, CA; 
KCET National Latino Community Center, Los Angeles, CA; National Center for Film & Video Preservation, Los 
Angeles, CA; National Video Resources, New York, NY; Neighborhood Film/Video Project, Philadelphia, PA; 
Neon, Inc., New York, NY; New Image Productions, Las Vegas, NV; New Liberty Productions, Philadelphia, PA; 
91 1 Media Arts Center, Seatde, WA; Ohio Arts Council, Columbus, OH; Ohio Univ., Athens, OH; One Eighty 
One Productions, NewYjrk, NY, Outside in July; New York, NY; Paul Robeson Fund/Funding Exchange, New York, 
NY; Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, PA; Pro Vtdeographers, Morton Grove, IL; Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, 
Lincoln, NE; Medina Rich, New York, NY; Ross-Gafhey, New York, NY; San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, 
CA; Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM; School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL; Scribe Video Center, 
Philadelphia, PA; Southwest Alternate Media Project, Houston, TX; Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo, NY; Strato Films, 
Hollywood, CA; SUNY/BufFalo-Dept. Media Studies, Buffalo, NY; Swiss Institute, New York, NY; Terrace Films, 
Brooklyn, NY; Thurston Community TV Olympia, WA; Tucson Community Cable Corp., Tucson, AZ; Univ. of 
Southern Horida, Tampa, FL; Univ. of .Arizona, Tucson, AZ; Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI; UMAB/School of 
Social Work Media Center, Baltimore, MD; Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; USA Film Festival, Dallas, TX; 
Vancouver Film School, Vancouver, Bnash Columbia; Veritas International, Elsah, IL; Video Data Bank, Chicago, 
IL; Video Pool, Winnipeg, Manitoba; View Video, New York, NY; Virginia Festival of American Film, 
Charlottesville, VA; West Hollywood Public Access, West Hollywood, CA; WNET/13, New York, NY; Women 
Make Movies, New York, NY; Yann Beauvais, Paris; Yale University Libraries, North York, Ontario; Zeitgeist Film, 
Tampa, FL 



January/February 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 63 



Afe#norand 




By Pamela Calvert 




UPCOMING EVENTS 



WORKSHOPS 

THE REAL DEAL: SUNDANCE 

Sundance is now without a doubt the single most 
important festival for American independents — 
but it's all too easy to wander around dazed and 
confused, especially if it's your first time. Kevin 
Smith and Scott Mosier, the producers directors 
of Clerks, co-winner of Sundance's 1994 
Filmmakers Trophy, will pass along the 
advice they wish someone 
had told them 
before they went last 
year. Not to be 
missed — reserve early. 
Limited to 20 partici- 
pants; pre-payment re- 
quired. 

When: Thursday, Jan. 
12,6:30 pm 

Where.AIVF offices 

Price: $8 A1VF members; 
$10 others 



CONSUMER'S GUIDE TO 
PRODUCTION INSURANCE 

And speaking of dazed and confused... Debra 
Kozee of Coulter and Sands will present a much- 
needed overview of the various kinds of coverages 
needed for shoots and how to sift through the 
pages of jargon on an insurance policy to decide 
what's right for your situation. She'll tell you the 
questions you should ask a broker and what to 
look for — and look out for — in shopping around. 
Limited to 20 participants; pre-payment required. 

When: Monday, February 13, 7 pm 

Where: AIVF offices 

Price: $12 AIVF members; $15 others 

MEET & GREETS 

These are opportunities for members to meet pro- 
ducers, distributors, funders, programmers, and 
others, to exchange information in an informal 
atmosphere at the AIVF offices. Free; 
open to AIVF members only. 




Boston Celebration: At a launch party for The Independent's 
Regional Spotlight on Boston issue [November 1994], area 
filmmakers Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ascher [Troublesome 
Creek a Midwestern) check out the spread (top left); Anne 
Marie Stein (BF/VF) and Susi Walsh (Newton Television 
Foundation), cosponsors of the event (top right); during a 
solemn moment in the festivities, party attendees plot a 
strategy for dealing with cuts in the NEA's Media Arts 
Program budget as well as the elimination of the agency's 
subgrant categories. Photos: Helene Caux (top right) and 
Patricia Thomson. 



ABBY TERKUHLE 

Senior VP, On-Air 
Creative & Animation 
MTV: Music Television 
Terkuhle develops new 
characters and slwws, over- 
sees MTV's in-house ani- 
mation studio, and is explor- 
ing new opticn\s for interactive programming. 
When: Tuesday, Jan. 24, 6:30 pm 

PAUL BYRNES 

Director, Sydney Film Festival 

Major international Australian film festival. 

When: Late February date tba; call office for 
update 



Back by popular demand! 
RICARDO BLOCH 

New York film &. video program consultant, 
Jerome Foundation. 

When: March date tba; call office for update 
Note: This Meet & Greet only open to members who 
did not register for the October ]erome Foundation 
event. 

LOS ANGELES MEET AND GREET: 
ELLIOT GROVE 

Director, Raindance Market 

New festival and market in London for independent 

film and videomakers. 

When: Monday, Feb. 27, 7:00pm 
Where: tba; members will receive mailing 

Call Doug Lindeman, (213) 936-6677, for more 

information and to reserve. 

MEMBER ORIENTATION 

Come to our offices for a half-hour briefing on the 
organization's services, meet the membership 
program staff, and be introduced to the resource 

library. RSVP encouraged. 

When: Wednesday, February 15, 5:30 pm 

Where: AIVF offices 

"MANY TO MANY" MONTHLY MEMBER 
SALONS 

This is a monthly opportunity for members to 
discuss work, meet other independents, share war 
stories, and connect with the AIVF community 
across the country. Note: since our copy deadline 
is two months before the meetings listed below, 
be sure to call the local organizers to confirm that 
there have been no last-minute changes. 

Boston: 

k When: Jan. 10 (Tues.), Feb. 8 (Wed.), 
1 7 pm. 

IWhere: Newton Television 
'Foundation, 1608 Beacon St., 
'Newton Contact: Susan Walsh (617) 
" 965-8477 
Chicago: 

When: Jan. 10, Feb. 14, 7:30 pm 
Where: Chicago Filmmakers, 1 543 W. Division 
St. Contact: Kirk Pennak (312) 275-5326 

Denver: 

Meeting not set at press time. 

Contact: Diane Markrow (303) 989-6466 

Los Angeles: 

When: Jan. 4, Feb. 1, 7 pm 

Where: Lou de Chris Cafe, 8164 Melrose (beside 

Improv) 

Contact: Doug Lindeman, (213) 936-6677 

New York: 
Continued on p. 62. 



64 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 995 



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DEAR COLLEAGUES 



THE MIGHTY MORPHIN' POWER RANGERS 



— NOT BIG BIRD — OPENED THE 104TH CONGRESS 



H 



with a rousing demonstration of strength 
and agility. By now, the American public 
has heard that the intentions of the new 
leadership in the U.S. House 
of Representatives are clear 
— to "zero out" funding for 
the Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting (CPB), the institution 
that provides the core dollars to 
public television and radio stations and crit- 
ical production and programming support, 
such as the Independent Television Service 
(ITVS). The same proposal may be intro- 
duced concerning the National Endowment 
for the Arts (NEA) and the National 
Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). 

While the call for the elimination of public 
television and radio are being made on the 
arguments of the squeeze to balance the 
federal budget, the proliferation of cable 
television, and the "necessity" of creating a 
market-driven system, it is clear that ideol- 
ogy is driving this debate. 

In the words of the new House Speaker, it 
is important to stop the "eating of taxpay- 
ers' money." In reality, it means the elimi- 
nation of democratic forums for public 
education, ideas, and exchange. 

• Each taxpayer spends under a dollar per 
year on public broadcasting. 

• In the 63% of American households which 
are able to subscribe to cable, the average 
annual cost per household is $389 per year. 

• The Corporation for Public Broadcasting 
(CPB) is an independent, non-profit cor- 
poration that administers federal funds 
for the public broadcast community. The 
bulk of federal funds that go to CPB are 



redistributed to television and radio sta- 
tions throughout the nation, assist in fund- 
ing numerous PBS and NPR programs and 
activities, and support specific ser- 
vices such as ITVS and the nation- 
al Minority Consortia. 



s 



< 



• CPB money is often "first 
dollar", and in turn, leverages 
other support — viewer support, mem- 
bership, corporate underwriting, and 
creative partnerships within the commu- 
nity at the civic, educational, and cultur- 
al level. This is a successful and docu- 
mented example of how federalism and 
localism can work together. 

• Public broadcasting's educational pro- 
grams, materials, and outreach services to 
schools, viewers, and communities repre- 
sent an important part of our federal gov- 
ernment's responsibility to provide afford- 
able quality services for all segments of 
our society, regardless of age, income, 
geography, gender, culture, or race. Public 
broadcasting remains a steadfast and criti- 
cal forum to address the needs and chal- 
lenges of the nation's diverse communities 
as well as serving the educational needs of 
children and adults. 

• The bipartisan Carnegie Commission in 

1967 recommended to Congress the creation 
of a public broadcasting system to be an alter- 
native to commercial television. In the 28 
years since, public broadcasting has demon- 
strated time and again its invaluable contribu- 
tion as a counterweight to the barrage of 
commercialism and violence-prone program- 
ming that is offered on commercial and cable 
television. We know what a more commercial 
system of broadcasting would look like.. .it's 
called commercial broadcasting. 



• Public broadcasting is the one of the few 
public forums that is committed to program- 
ming that reflects the issues and needs of our 
communities including minorities, youth, 
senior citizens, and other "invisible" seg- 
ments of our society. To define public media 
as "conservative" or "liberal" is to fail to 
understand the richness and service of public 
television and radio, and their respective con- 
tributions to public dialogue and discourse. 

• The Independent Television Service 

(ITVS) in its brief four years of operations, 
has been fulfilling its mandate to fund, dis- 
tribute, and promote programming about 
issues which are consistently under-repre- 
sented in the medium and/or of interest to 
under-served communities. We are a suc- 
cessful example of a challenging and fruitful 
partnership between independent produc- 
ers, the station community, and audiences. 

The elimination of CPB, as proposed by 
new Congressional leaders, will inflict great 
injury to stations — rural and urban. It will 
savage, if not kill off, efforts by independent 
producers and minority communities to rep- 
resent a whole America. Ultimately, the pub- 
lic will lose — permanently. 

Now is the time to act. This is not just 
another skirmish. The current proposals are 
the most significant threat ever to wipe out 
public media and for Congress to abdicate 
this public trust. Please act now. 

Most sincerely, 




0*+^ 




James Yee 
Executive Director 
Independent Television Service 



March 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 1 



THE DISNEY INSTITUTE 

Film Programmer 



The Disney Institute is a new vacation resort offering participatory, enriching, fun 
experiences through programs in a variety of areas, including Performing Aits, Sports and 
Fitness, Environment, Culinary Aits, and Animation. Programs in performing arts 
celebrate music, movement, theater arts, literature/poetry, guest speakers and film through 
interactive performances, creative workshops, conversations with artists, and artistic collabo- 
rations. The Disney Institute, a new business of the Walt Disney Company, is located in 
Orlando, Florida, and will open in early 1996. 

We are accepting applications for the position of Film Programmer. Bachelor's or 
master's degree in an arts-related field is preferred; minimum of two years hands-on experience 
organizing film programs and screenings required. Applicants should have wide-ranging 
contacts with independents and studios, and should possess programming experience with 
festivals or theaters. Booking experience, negotiation skills, and computer literacy needed. 

Consideration will be given only to candidates who submit a cover letter, 
complete resume and salary history to: 



Disney Institute 

Professional Staffing-Performing Arts/LB/IFV 

6649 Westwood Blvd. 

Suite 300 

Orlando, FL 32821 




r 



The Disney Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer 



<"OThc Walt Disney G 



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M O N 

March 1995 
VOLUME 18, NUMBER 2 

Publisher: Ruby Lerner 

Editor-in-Chief: Patricia Thomson 

Managing Editor: Michele Shapiro 

Editorial Assistant: Mitch Albert 

Intern: Lynne Palazzi 

Contributing Editors: Kathryn Bowser, Luke Hones, 

Barbara Bliss Osborn, Catherine Saalfield. 

Robert Seigel 

Art Director: Daniel Christmas 

Advertising: Laura D. Davis (212) 473-3400 

Proofreader/Fact Checker: Cylena Simonds 

National Distribution: Bernhard DeBoer (201) 667-9300; 

Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Sheridan Press 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731- 
5198) is published monthly except February and 
September by the Foundation for Independent Video 
and Film (FIVF), a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational 
foundation dedicated to the promotion of video and 
film. Subscription to the magazine ($45/yr individual; 
$25/yr student; $75/yr library; $100/yr nonprofit orga- 
nization; $150/yr business/industry) is included in 
annual membership dues paid to the Association of 
Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the national 
trade association of individuals involved in independent 
film and video, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012, 
(212) 473-3400; fax: (212) 677-8732; aivf fivf@ 
aol.com. Second Class Postage Paid at New York, NY, 
and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send 
address changes to The Independent Film & Video 
Monthly, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012. 

Publication of The Independent is made possible in 
part with public funds from the New York State Council 
on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a 
federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement in The Independent 
does not constitute an endorsement. AIVF/FIVF are not 
responsible for any claims made in an ad. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require writ- 
ten permission and acknowledgement of the article's 
previous appearance in The Independent. The 
Independent is indexed in the Alternative Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 
1995 

AIVF/FIVF staff members: Ruby Lerner, executive direc- 
tor; Pamela Calvert, director of programs and services; 
Judah Friedlander, membership associate; Susan 
Kennedy, development director; Jennifer Lytton, pro- 
gram associate; John McNair, information services asso- 
ciate; Martha Wallner, advocacy coordinator; Arsenio 
Assin, receptionist; Alison Mark, intern. 

AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert I. Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Joe Berlinger, Melissa 
Burch, Loni Ding (vice president), Barbara Hammer, 
Ruby Lerner (ex officio), James Klein (treasurer), Diane 
Markrow, Beni Matias, Robb Moss, Robert Richter 
(president), James Schamus*, Norman Wang*, Barton 
Weiss (secretary), Debra Zimmerman (chair). 
* FIVF Board of Directors only 



2 THE INDEPENDENT March 1995 



Features 

24 SOLO FLYERS: 

Or Zen and the Art 
of Solo Shoots 

A one-person crew is the ultimate act 
of independence for some mediamakers. 
Find out how and why they do it. 

By Mitch Albert 

29 The Hi8 Mystique 

By Tim Wright 



30 In the Program Director's Chair 

Producers trying to sell their work to individual 
public TV stations will most likely wind up dealing 
with the program director. Four program directors 
shed some light on what their jobs involve and how 
they interact with independents. 



By Michael Fox 



Letters 



(Media News" 





Tough Cookies: The View 
From Capitol Hill 

By Christopher Borrelli 



I Want My MNTV B 



y Scott Briggs 



At Last: An Alternative to Limited 
Partnerships on the Coasts 

By Robert L. Seigel 

14 Talking Heads 

Deborah Hoffmann, documentarian: 
Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter 

By Erin Blackwell 

Kayo Hatta, writer/director: 
Picture Bride 

By Fatimah Tobing Rony 

Marilyn Freeman, talk show producer: 
American Values by ray kelleher 



COVER: From Jupiter's Wife, Michel Negroponte's portrait of 
a homeless woman living in Central Park. In this issue, Mitch 
Albert talks to Negroponte and other mediamakers about solo 
shoots and why some choose to act as their own one-person 
crew. Photo courtesy filmmaker. 



18 Wired Blue Yonder 



Checking in to the Bar Code Hotel 

By Kris Malden 

See Me, Hear Me, Touch Me, Read Me: 
CD-ROM Magazines by tom samiljan 

Intellectual Property on the 

Infobahn By Lesley Ellen Harris 

A Word from Vice President Gore 

32 Field Reports 

Screenwriters, Unite! 

How to Organize a "Writers' Unit" 

By James Ryan 

Stormy Weather for London's 
Raindance Film Market 

By Michele Shapiro 

On the Waterfront: The Hamptons 
International Film Festival 

By Laurel Berger 



42 In and Out of Productionbymicheleshap.ro 
37 Festivals by kathryn bowser 40 Classifieds 

43 Notices 59 AIVF Advocacy by MA rtha waljJ 

60 Memoranda by Pamela cawe** 



March 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 3 



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Letters 



ACCESS FOR ALL 

To the editor: 

It was good to see public access cable mentioned pos- 
itively in your recent Boston issue [November 1994]. 
Public access centers do play an important role in 
Boston's independent media scene. Christine Sand- 
vik correctly reported my observation that new immi- 
grants in particular have made tremendous use of 
Somerville Community Access Television (SCAT) 
and other local access channels. But she misinter- 
preted me as disparaging the use of public access 
"merely for personal expression." I have often seen 
artists and people who might not call themselves 
artists use SCAT in revealing and provocative ways. 

I'll give two examples: For her experimental Test 
Tape, video artist Sarah Smiley recorded people in 
Harvard Square telling how they feel when they're 
about to take a test. She combined this anxious 
soundtrack with computer-processed video. The 
short tape repeated on the access channel from mid- 
night til morning, periodically inviting viewers to call 
a phone number, where an answering machine 
recorded their responses. Smiley planned to incorpo- 
rate the responses into an expanded Test Tape. 

At around the same time, high school student 
Natalia Velez videotaped two friends on their way 
home from school. Then she audiotaped them as they 
watched the footage. Her edited video, Amigas, con- 
veys movingly the intimacy between teenage girl- 
friends. 

I could add dozens of other examples of beautiful 
or disturbing work that could only have been pro- 
duced at a public access center that encourages free- 
dom and competence in independent video produc- 
tion — either because uncensored narrowcasting 
allows a broad spectrum of unknown local viewers to 
interact and collaborate with the artists (as with 
Smiley 's Test Tape), or because the producer would 
never otherwise have access to sympathetic training 
and free, accessible facilities (as with Velez's Amigas), 
or because the center brings together such an 
astounding diversity of people within four walls and a 
channel. 

There is no place besides public access where peo- 
ple can express themselves — personally or political- 
ly — on televisionwithout money, without grants, 
without on-line high-tech standards, without know- 
ing how to knock on doors, without perfect English, 
without approval, without having to appeal to con- 
sumerism or sensationalism. I have found this open- 
ness invaluable to having community dialogue, yes, 
but also to the development and exchange of person- 
al expression. 

Abigail Nonnan 

Somerville Community Access Television 

Somerville, Massachusetts 

HOW ABOUT HAMPSHIRE? 

To the editor: 

I was disappointed that Hampshire College was omit- 
ted from the article "Nine Film Schools Not To Be 
Overlooked" [August/September 1994]. Of course, 



you couldn't include every film school, but 
Hampshire has so many alumni working at the high- 
est levels in every sector of the film business, it is a 
major oversight not to include it. 

A liberal arts college with 1,000 students, located 
in western Massachusetts, Hampshire has probably 
graduated fewer filmmakers in its brief 25-year histo- 
ry than just one class at UCLA or NYU. But if cred- 
its equal success — how about four Academy Awards 
and 15 nominations' — then Hampshire will go head 
to head with the biggest universities. 

Choose a field and Hampshire grads are doing 
some of the finest work in it. In documentary, Ken 
Burns changed the face of public television with The 
Civil War. Rob Epstein won two Oscars for The Times 
of Harvey Milk and Common Threads. Peter Friedman 
made Sik'erlalce Life, about dying from AIDS. Buddy- 
Squires is one of the busiest cinematograpers in the 
business, shooting most of Ken Burns's films and the 
Oscar-nominated Chimps, as well as So Like Us for 
Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman, also alumni. Terry 
Hopkins shot the architecture series Pride of Place and 
Carlos Fuentes' Latin America, while Tom Sigel shot 
the Oscar-winning Witness to War: Dr. Charlie 
Clements. 

In Hollywood, Michael Peiser produced Ruthless 
People and Distinguished Gentlemen, Barry Sonnenfeld 
directed The Addams Family and Addams Family 
Values after a successful career as a director ot pho- 
tography on Raising Arizona, Big, Misery, and Miller's 
Crossing. Ezra Swerdlow produced Stand By Me and 
was associate producer of seven of Woody Allen's 
films. Jeff Maguire wrote In the Line of Fire and Hildy 
Gottlieb Hill, formerly an agent at ICM where she 
represented Eddie Murphy, Jeff Goldblum, and Dana 
Carvey, is now an independent producer. 

On network television, John Falsey created 
Northern Exposure and I'll Fly Away. Paul Margolis 
was a writer on the MacGyver series and is now exec- 
utive story editor on Sirens. Martha Morgan was the 
first woman to shoot national network news. In chil- 
dren's television, Mark Mannuci won two Emmys for 
directing Reading Rainbow. Finally, let's not forget ani- 
mation, where Steve Oakes created Pee Wee's 
Playhouse for CBS and The Bud Bowl series of spots, 
while Emily Hubley has won a slew of awards lor her 
animation. 

The list could go on for pages, but you get the 
point. Hampshire is a school that stresses how one 
sees rather than developing technique alone, a pro- 
gressive college where students design their own cur- 
riculum. Students can take classes at any of the four 
colleges in the area: Amherst College, Smith College, 
the University of Massachusetts and Mt. Holyoke 
College, giving large school offerings to a small pro- 
gram. 

Hampshire College celebrates its twenty-fifth 
anniversary in 1995 and continues to turn out film- 
makers who distinguish themselves by making great 
films. It is a vibrant place that definitely cannot be 
overlooked when doing even a small survey of film 
schools. 

Roger M. Sherman 

Producer/director: Founder of Florentine Films 

New York, New York 




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March I995 THE INDEPENDENT 5 



Edited by michele Shapiro 




1/ 



Media 

News 



/ 



TOUGH COOKIES 



Norman Mailer's proverbial "shit 
storm" hit the arts community 
last November when the GOP 
electorally massacred the 
Democratic party, taking con- 
trol of Congress for the first 
time in 40 years. The question 
posed by supporters of both the National 
Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and public broad- 
casting was not whether or not the two institu- 
tions would be affected, but just how severely. 

James Yee, executive director of the 
Independent Television Service (ITVS), summed 
up the current climate in a December letter to 
constituents: "Public television has never 
been subjected to as close (and parti 
san) a scrutiny as it will face in 
1995. Like it or not, we must 
accept the reality that the 
new Congress will do its 
utmost to pare down 
federal funding by 
weeding out 
programs its 
new majori- 
ty feels 
should no 
longer be 
the busi- 
ness of 
govern- 
ment." 

Yee lists a 
number of agen- 
cies and organiza- 
tions — from the Corp- 
oration for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the Public 
Broadcasting Service (PBS), and the NEA to the 
National Black Programming Consortium, the 
National Asian American Telecommunications 
Association (NAATA), and ITVS — all of which 
lack immunity from the right-leaning Re- 
publicans' philosophical objection to government 
involvement in arts funding of any kind. 

In the Senate, Republican leadership is more 
moderate. Jim Jeffords (R-VT), for one, says sav- 



The House Republican majority 

has done away with the 

Congressional Arts Caucus. 

Government funding for public 

television and the NEA may be 

next. Capitol Hill still has a 

few media-arts supporters 

pulling for the field. 
Who are they? Read on. 





ing H 

t h e 

NEA is one 
of his top priori- 
ties. With Jeffords and 

Nancy Kassenbaum (R-KS) chairing relevant 
committees, reauthorization looks quite possible 
in the Senate. 

But in the House, Speaker Newt Gingrich has 
moved reauthorization into a subcommittee 
called Early Childhood, Youth, and Families. The 
committee chair Randy "Duke" Cunningham 
repeatedly has voted to abolish the NEA. 
Observers on Capitol Hill believe legislation to 
reauthorize the Endowment will never leave 



CHEW ON THIS: Despite all you've heard, media artists do 
have some friends in Congress. Supporters include (L. to 
R.) Sidney R. Yates (D-IL), who recently introduced legisla- 
tion that would extend the NEA for two more years; Ralph 
Regula (R-OH), a member of the Subcommittee on the 
Interior; Marge Roukema (R-NJ), chair of the Subcommittee 
on Labor-Management Relations; and William Goodling (R- 
PA), the new chair of the House Committee on Education 
and Labor. Courtesy offices of Sidney Yates, Ralph 
Regula, Marge Roukema, and William Goodling; Cookie 
Monster photo courtesy PBS 



6 THE INDEPENDENT March 1995 



Cunningham's subcommittee. If the worst-case 
scenario comes to pass, the NEA's fate may land in 
the hands of a conference committee, which 
would include members of the House and Senate. 



LSO LONG, DEARIE 

Demonstrating its clout, the incoming House 
Republican majority's first potentially damaging 
move was to abolish 28 Legislative Service 
Organizations (LSOs), including the 
Congressional Arts Caucus (CAC), in December. 
LSOs are support organizations that members join 
voluntarily to receive independent research, leg- 
islative analysis, and information on specific issues 
of shared interest. Among its other tasks, the CAC 
worked to highlight the benefits of federal support 
for arts and culture to Congress. Word on how 
successful the caucus's efforts were are mixed 
among members of the arts community. 

"The CAC was hardly a bastion of support, at 

least vocal, for our concerns," David Mendoza, 

executive director of the National 

Campaign for Freedom of Expression 

(NCFE), announced over the 

Artswire network. "It was like a 

/ social group that liked to take 

trips to New York City to 

meet stars and go to the 

theater. Let's face it," 

he added, "if it had 

any clout, we 

wouldn't have 

been in the 

.fix we've 

.been in. 

But they 

would 

blame 

"'those 




pesky 



artists. 

Yet, as 

another 

Artswire cor- 

respondent 

pointed out, "Losing 

these caucuses means more special interest and 

less independent analysis." 

The voice vote to eliminate the LSOs does not 
bode well for bastions of governmental arts fund- 
ing, namely the NEA; nor does Gingrich's position 
on the agency. He has said he would privatize the 
NEA and CPB, but he's yet to explain what he 
means by "privitization." 

"The private sector is constantly being present- 
ed as the thing that's going to fill the gap," Ella 



King Torrey, president of Grantmakers in the Arts, 
which represents Ford, MacArthur, and other 
foundations, recently told the Village Voice. "We 
can tell you absolutely and for sure that that is not 
going to be the case in arts funding." 

The House Republican's Contract with 
America, which is now making its ways through 
various committees, includes support for an 
amendment that would cut the budgets for the 
NEA, the National Endowment for the 
Humanities, the Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting, the Smithsonian Institution, and 
the National Gallery of Art by two percent each 
year for the next five years. At press time, 
Congress was slated to vote on each of the points 
outlined in the contract within their first 100 days 
in office. 

Plans such as these have prompted media arts 
supporters to ask: Is anyone out there sympathet- 
ic to our cause? Fortunately, the answer is yes. 
Unfortunately, the number of arts-friendly sena- 
tors and congressmen has dropped considerably, 
and the community will have to rely on the 
remaining lot to voice their concerns. 

HELLO OUT THERE 

The short list of returning Republican Senators 
who have 100-percent NEA voting records are 
Bob Packwood (R-OR), John Chafee (R-RI), and 
James Jeffords (R-VT). In the House, which will 
presumably be taking the lead on legislative issues 
this session, solid NEA supporters include 
Sherwood Boehlert (NY); William dinger (PA); 
Vernon Ehlers (MI), Benjamin Gilman (NY), 
Amo Houghton (NY); Stephen Horn (CA), 
Nancy Johnson (CT); Jim Leach (IA); and 
Connie Morella (MD). An informal poll of 
Congressional Republicans with pro-NEA voting 
records indicates they haven't turned their backs 
on the arts;. No one said they would vote against 
the NEA, but a few said they may vote to trim the 
Endowment's budget. 

William Goodling (R-PA), the new chair of the 
House Committee on Education and Labor 
(which is where legislation to authorize the work 
of the endowment originates), previously voted 
against elimination of the NEA. He did, however, 
support cutting the agency's budget by $92.6 mil- 
lion (54 percent) and now says he would like to 
see the budget reduced "in gradual steps." Marge 
Roukema (R-NJ), chair of the Subcommittee on 
Labor-Management Relations, also opposed elimi- 
nation but supported budget cuts, as did the new 
chairs of the Appropriations committees, Joe 
McDade (House Appropriations) and Ralph 
Regula (Subcommittee on the Interior). 

In a move to keep the NEA from being elimi- 
nated on technical grounds, Sidney Yates (D-IL), 
a longtime NEA supporter, recently introduced 
legislation that would extend the agency for 
another two years. This, says Yates in a letter to 



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On the Record* 

"BIG BIRD MAKES MONEY. BARNEY 
MAKES MONEY. THESE ARE PROF- 
IT-MAKING CENTERS, THEY 
WOULD SURVIVE FINE... I UNDER- 
STAND WHY THE ELITE WANTS THE 

MONEY [FOR PUBLIC TV], 

BUT I THINK THEY OUGHT TO BE 

HONEST. THESE ARE A BUNCH OF 

RICH, UPPER-CLASS PEOPLE 

WHO WANT THEIR TOY 

TO PLAY WITH." 

— Speaker of the House 
Newt Gingrich, discussing the future of public 
broadcasting on C-Span, January 1995. 

• The Independent is soliciting quotes about the 
media arts for "On the Record." If you come 
across a brilliant, funny, stupid, or enlightening 
quote, send it to Michele Shapiro (see masthead 
for mail/fax/email; no calls, please). Include name 
6k date of publication in which quote first 
appeared. If your quote is used, you'll receive a 
free one-year individual membership to AIVF. 



constituents, will "give the NEA the breathing 
room necessary to prepare a plan for passing a 
longer reauthorization at a later date." 

With both the NEA's reauthorization and 
appropriation slated for early 1995, the agency's 
supporters will be put to their first true test. "NEA 
funding could be zero in the new few months," 
said a spokesperson in the office of Representative 
Ralph Regula (R-OH). "If the House votes against 
funding, that's 50 percent right there. Someone at 
the NEA needs to seriously look at the possibility 
that this may be what will happen." The NEA 
counts Regula, the new House Appropriations 
Committee chair, as a valuable moderate. But one 
Capitol Hill congressional insider said when the 
actual votes come up for NEA-related issues, con- 
gressmen like Regula will vote the party line 
regardless of any perceived under-the-table hand- 
shakes. 

On the surface at least, the NEA remains cool. 
"We still have a lot of friends on Capitol Hill," 
spokesman Cherie Simon told Daily Variety short- 
ly after the elections last November. Josh Dare, 
spokesperson for the Media Program, said a month 
later that the agency isn't "hunkering down and 
digging in just yet. Instead we're going on the 
offensive and getting out letters [to arts adminis- 
trators encouraging them to rally their con- 
stituents]." 



PBS ON THE LINE 

Staunchly conservative House subcommittee 
chair Jack Fields has PBS shaking in its booties. 
Fields, a former door-to-door cemetery plot sales- 
man, will control public television's budget with a 
large pair of figurative scissors in his grasp. 

In January, a House Appropriations 
Subcommittee met to mull over possible cuts to 
CPB's $285 million budget; the cuts could take 
effect as early as this year. CPB, a federally funded, 
private corporation chartered by Congress in 
1967, appropriates funds to PBS and National 
Public Radio as well as contributing to indepen- 
dent productions and local stations. 

PBS's situation is not as bleak in the Senate, 
where Mark Hatfield (R-OR), reputedly the most 
liberal Senate Republican, heads its oversight 
committee. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Bob 
Dole, however, has long been an outspoken critic 
of public television's "leftist bias." He is friendly 
with David Horowitz (once a speechwriter for 
Dole), who has devoted much of his career to crit- 
icizing PBS's alleged bias. In a recent issue of 
Comint, the publication Horowitz coedits with 
Laurence Jarvik (another high profile conservative 
critic of PBS who created a controversy around its 
miniseries Tales of the City), the two maligned 
ITVS, a CPB-funded programming entity formed 
by Congress in 1989 to increase the diversity of 
programs available to public television. Currently 
ITVS has over 80 single programs and eight limit- 
ed series in production or distribution. 

Horowitz' and Jarvik's attack on ITVS may be 
a harbinger of congressional action. ITVS's Yee 
has issued a call-to-action on the part of the media 
arts community to support public broadcasting 
efforts. He suggests connecting with a local media 
organization, arts institution, or public television 
station to find out the latest word on legislative 
news around public broadcasting and the cultural 
arts; lobbying opinion leaders and legislators; com- 
mitting to become involved in future efforts to 
drum up support for public broadcasting; examin- 
ing partnership possibilities with local stations; 
and, most fittingly in his case, keeping apprised of 
new developments at ITVS. 

In response to Congress's threats thus far, arts 
administrators and artists who are already 
stretched to the limit are mustering the strength — 
and the financial means — to fight the culture war. 
"I think it's a challenge the arts community can 
meet," said Judy Golub of the American Arts 
Alliance. "But there's a lot of work ahead. We 
have jobs to be advocates for the arts, and we need 
to do our jobs." 

Christopher Borrelli, with additional 
reporting by mlchele shapiro 

Christopher Borrelli has contributed articles to 
Premiere and Wired. 

For AIVF activity surrounding these issues, see 
"AIVF Advocacy" column on p. 59. 



8 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



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A revamped MNTV, the television showcase for 
Minneapolis-based independent film and video 
artists, is scheduled to return to Twin Cities public 
television later this year. The series, which 
debuted in 



the number of local artists whose work is featured 
in the program. KTCA enters each season with no 
preconceived plan regarding how many episodes 
will be produced. All submissions considered 
acceptable for the series make the cut. The 
upcoming season will include 15 episodes. About 
half will present single half-hour works, and the 
rest will compile groups of two to five different 
pieces, often linked by common subject matter or 
themes. 

KTCA typically receives 150 to 200 responses 
to its annual call for entries for 




19 9 0, 
presents weekly collections of local work selected 
by a panel of representatives from some of the 
area's top media arts support organizations. 

MNTV was originally scheduled to begin its 
fifth season last fall, but demands of other KTCA- 
TV projects forced station staff to postpone the 
program. Now, new series producer Andy 
Rothschild is set to edit the latest shows in April, 
with air dates tentatively scheduled for the sum- 
mer. 

The upcoming season will introduce some 
changes in the series. Episodes will run a half-hour, 
rather than an hour, and individual pieces will be 
preceded by brief on-camera interviews with the 
mediamakers featured that week. 

"I hope that it will make the series as much 
about making films and videos as it is about 
watching them," says Rothschild, whose own 
work, Closed Circuit, aired on MNTV during the 
show's fourth season. "There is a lot of passion and 
enthusiasm that goes into doing your work as a 
filmmaker or videomaker, and I'd like to convey 
some of that to people who are watching." 

MNTV's shorter format will not cut down on 



MNTV Artists submit complet- 
ed works that are viewed separately by representa- 
tives from two of the program's nine participating 
partners: Cable Access of Saint Paul; Independent 
Feature Project North; Intermedia Arts 
Minnesota; KTCA; the Minnesota Film Board; 
the Playwrights' Center; Screenwriters' Workshop; 
the University Film Society; and the Walker Art 
Center's Film/Video Department. Entrants who 
receive at least one positive vote remain in con- 
tention and advance to a second round of judging, 
at which time representatives from all nine orga- 
nizations screen and discuss the works before cast- 
ing their votes. There is no ranking or scoring sys- 
tem. A simple majority rules. Six votes puts a piece 
on the air. 

"We don't pretend that it's scientific," 
Rothschild admits. "We each apply personal crite- 
ria." Judges are encouraged, however, to favor 
work that is personal, idiosyncratic, and original in 
form or content. Particular consideration is given 
to pieces that present a voice or point of view 
underrepresented by the media. Production values 
are definitely downplayed during the selection 
process. This season's fare ranges from one-minute 
pieces edited in-camera by first-time filmmakers to 




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March 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 9 




WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS 

Laurel Chiten 

Twitch and Shout 



Jenny Cool 

Home Economics: 

A Documentary of Suburbia 



Jane Gilooly 

Leona's Sister Gerri 



David Goldsmith 

The Sign of the Times 

Isabel Hill 

Made in Brooklyn 



Andrea Leland 

The Long Road Home 

Heidi Schmidt 

Spirit of the Dawn 

Tommie Dell Smith 

Breaking Silence: 

The Story of the Sisters 

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Julia Tell 

Just Growing Up, Dear 



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highly polished half-hour dramas shot on 35mm. 

All MNTV content must include significant 
creative contributions by people with strong ties to 
the state of Minnesota. Artists are paid stipends 
for pieces shown: $100 for the first five minutes 
and $20 per minute thereafter. The greater reward 
for filmmakers, however, is the exposure their 
work receives. MNTV reaches approximately 
12,000 households each time the program airs. 

"Television is the most popular medium for 
consumption right now. There is this huge audi- 
ence," says Kim Downing, whose Evening at Home 
will soon appear on MNTV. She expects her inclu- 
sion in the series will add credibility to future bids 
for film festival appearances. Other producers, 
however, are pleased the program offers an alter- 
native to such screenings. 

"The majority of the audience that would see 
festival work is kind of converted already," says 
Geoff Seelinger, whose Its Outsides Turn With Us, is 
also slated for the upcoming MNTV season. "You 
never know who's going to be influenced by, or 
who's going to see MNTV There are a lot of peo- 
ple who will tune in and catch it that will have a 
new experience through it. It seems like every 
public broadcasting station should have some kind 
of a venue like that. I can't imagine why they 
wouldn't." 

For the time being, Downing is just happy to 
have such an outlet close to home. She says it 
helps alleviate the myth that a Midwestern artist's 
career path must go by way of one of the coasts. 
"There was always that feeling before." she 
explains. "MNTV means I don't have to move to 
New York and come back to get shown in my own 
town." 

MNTV will begin to accept submissions for its 
sixth season in the fall of 1995. For more informa- 
tion, contact KTCA after September 1 at (612) 

222-1717. 

Scott Briggs 

Scott Briggs writes about the arts in Minneapolis. 

AT LAST: AN 
ALTERNATIVE TO 



PARTNERSHIPS 

Traditionally, independent mediamakers are as 
creative in financing projects as they are in pro- 
ducing them. New York- and California-based pro- 
ducers have used the conventional business struc- 
ture of the limited partnership to raise funds for 
projects, since it allows a producer or production 
company to act as a general partner and investors 
as limited partners with liability limited to the 
extent of their investments [see Stephen M. 
Goldstein, "The Money Lenders: Loans vs. 




Limited Partnerships," April 1994]- Although the 
general partner has unlimited liability, producers 
often form corporations to insulate themselves 
from unlimited financial exposure. 

Within the past year, New York and California 
joined 43 other states in adopting a new form of 
business entity: the Limited Liability Company or 
LLC. Flexible in structure, the LLC shares many 
benefits with both limited partnerships and corpo- 
rations. It offers limited liability for all investors 
(or "members"), including the party or parties that 
operate the LLC ("manager[s]"). An LLC's man- 
ager need not be a member. Unlike the conven- 
tional C-Corporation, which under many state 
and federal laws is taxed at both the corporate and 
shareholder levels, an LLC provides the benefit of 
single or "flow through" taxation on the members 
themselves (similar to taxation of the partners in a 
limited partnership) and is not taxed on the LLC 
level. 

In addition, the LLC affords its members the 
opportunity to participate in management without 
putting their limited liability at risk. This is not the 
case with limited partnerships, which preclude a 
limited partner's active participation in business 
affairs. With an LLC, however, independent pro- 
ducers who may not relish the possibility of an 
active managerial role by investors can limit mem- 
bers' power by amending the operating agreement 
so producers have most or sole authority to man- 
age the project's business affairs. 

As managers, independent producers can 
restrict the sale or transferability of a member's 
LLC interests. Although the Internal Revenue 
Service has not yet ruled on whether an LLC 
should be treated as a partnership or a corpora- 
tion, characteristics such as the limitation or 
restriction on transfers of a company's interests 



10 THE INDEPENDENT March 1995 



have led state and federal tax authorities to 
treat a business as a partnership with single, 
"flow through" taxation on investors rather 
than a C- Corporation's double taxation. 

An LLC may also be less expensive 
than a limited partnership in the short term, 
since both a limited partnership and its corpo- 
rate general partner must file at formation with 
a state and pay filing and accounting fees to 
maintain both entities. Yet there are added 
costs for a New York state LLC; the LLC must 
pay a $50-per-member annual fee ($100 total 
for LLCs in New York City) and New York con- 
tinues the arduous publication requirement also 
required for a limited partnership, in which a 
notice of the LLC must appear in two newspa- 
pers (decided by the county clerk) twice a week 
for six weeks within 120 days of LLC filing. 
California has no publication requirement and 
| there is no individual member fee as in New 
York. However, California LLCs must pay $800 
! annually in franchise taxes. It is still uncertain 
how states that do not offer an LLC (i.e., 
rlawaii, Vermont, Massachusetts, and 
Pennsylvania) will treat an LLC seeking investors 
n their states. 

When Laura Lau, producer of the feature film 
Jrind, formed an LLC in New Jersey this past year 
(since New York had not yet enacted LLC legisla- 
tion), she encountered difficulties opening pro- 
duction accounts with New York banks and 
obtaining a New York State resale certificate to 
avoid paying sales taxes on expenditures that went 
directly into the production of her film. 

According to Jed Alpert, counsel to The 
Shooting Gallery, in Manhattan, which produced 
Nick Gomez' Laws of Gravity and New Jersey 
Drive, the LLC may not be a "cure all" for inde- 
pendents. "There can be different classes of inter- 
est [in the LLC], corporate and foreign members, 
and limited liability for the manager," he observes. 
Alpert adds that a limited partnership or S- 
Corporation may be just as effective a business 
vehicle and that any upfront savings from forming 
an LLC may be more than offset by the annual 
member fee — especially when several investors are 
involved. 

As with shares in a limited partnership, LLC 
interests are subject to securities laws for registra- 
tion or exemption from registration on both the 
federal level (through the Securities and 
Exchange Commission) and each state's "Blue 
Sky" laws. The LLC member may offset passive 
losses incurred by investors who do not actively 
participate in a business to the extent of his or her 
passive gains. However, because laws may vary by 
state, a producer should consult an attorney 
and/or tax advisor on legal and business issues 
regarding LLCs. 

Robert L. Seigel 

Robert L. Seigel is a NYC attorney and a principal in 
the Cinema Film Consulting firm. 



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NARK FINCH: 
1962-1995 

Mark Finch, artistic director of Frameline and the 
San Francisco International Lesbian 6k Gay Film 
Festival, died in January. At press time, his death 
was presumed to be suicide. 

A native of Manchester, England, Finch, 33, 
served as distribution manager of Frameline, a 
nonprofit lesbian and gay media arts organization, 
from 1990 to 1991. He then returned to London 
to head the British Film Institute's distribution 
arm. In 1992, Finch moved back to SF and 
became Frameline's artistic director. He was the 
prime force behind the first Lesbian and Gay 
Media Market, which will be held in conjunction 
with the 1995 Lesbian and Gay Film festival. 

Contributions in his memory can be made to the 
Mark Finch Fund for Film 6k Video, c/o the 
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Since The Independent reported on the devastating 
elimination of the regrant programs at the 
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) 
["Media Arts Madness," January/February 1995], 
some in-house job shuffling has occurred. Two 
Media Arts staffers, former program director 
Brian O'Doherty and former assistant director 
Arthur Tsuchiya, have assumed new staff posi- 
tions within the NEA. O'Doherty is now director 
of the Millennium Projects, overseeing projects 
from all of the agency's programs and disciplines 
for a kick-off celebration of the new millennium. 
O'Doherty will continue to serve as Director of 
the Media Arts Program until the position is filled. 
Tsuchiya has moved to the NEA's office of Policy, 
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• 

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Congress recently tapped 25 films for preservation. 
The new selections bring to 150 the total desig- 
nated for protection as historically and culturally 
significant by the Library of Congress and the 
preservation board. Among the works chosen in 
1994 are: Frederick Wiseman's The Cool World 
(1963); Louisiana Story (1948), produced by 
Robert Flaherty, Richard Leacock, and Helen Van 
Dongen; Bruce Conner's A Movie (1958); and 
Tabu (1931), written by Robert Flaherty. 



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After an award-winning debut at last year's 
San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay 
Film Festival, Complaints was invited to Sundance 
and given a slot on PBS' P.O.V series. One thing 
the film has going for it is its quirky visual style. 
"Complaints is in numerous formats, and you can 
kind of see that," explains Hoffmann. "The stuff 
of my mother and me, which looks extremely 
home-movie-ish, is shot with a consumer camera 



the filming while she did the interacting. "It had to 
be the person who knew my mother as intimately 
as I did. It couldn't have been anyone else. The 
film wouldn't have happened without her." 

In the film's pivotal moment, the rhen-84-year- 
old Doris Hoffmann takes the camera into her 
own hands and films the filmmakers. A smiling, 
doe-eyed Reid appears beside a slightly conflicted- 
looking Hoffmann. Twenty-five minutes in, the 



clocvjzrriiervtcjtricjtri 

COMPLAINTS 

OF A DUTIFUL 

DAUGHTER 

By Erin Blackwell 



eaving the "nasty, 
dark room" where 
she made her repu- 
tation as an editor, 
Deborah Hoffmann 
has taken her place 
in the spotlight as 
producer, director, 
writer, and co-star 
of Complaints of a 
Dutiful Daughter. 
The tragicomic 44- 
minute film por- 
trays the middle-aged filmmaker's coming to 
terms with her mother's transformation by 
Alzheimer's. In a heart-warming quid-pro-quo 
twist, the Jewish matriarch simultaneously over- 
comes long-standing prejudice to fully accept her 
lesbian daughter. 

What inspired the editor of Marlon Riggs' doc- 
umentaries Ethnic Notions and Color Adjustment 
and Robert Epstein's The Times of Harvey Milk to 
trade the invisible creativity of the cutting-room 
for the personal revelations of the screen? "I was 
unaware of what I was doing," claims Hoffmann, a 
San Franciscan since 1968. "I wasn't aware 
enough to be as scared as I should have been. It 
wasn't until we were just about through and I real- 
ized I was going to let the world see it, that I start- 
ed to lose massive amounts of sleep. By then it was 
too late." 





that you can twirl around on your little finger. 
The stuff of me talking is shot on Beta SP, a big 
huge camera with big huge lights. The night-time 
stuff with the moon was actually shot in 16mm. 
No real reason, except Frances [Reid, the film's 
cinematographer,] owns a 16mm camera, and we 
knew we just wanted to run and get the moon." 

At age 47, Hoffmann finds herself in the role of 
"expert" on video diaries, which led to her invita- 
tion to speak at PO. V's workshop on the genre in 
Los Angeles last year. "What I've done — that just 
so happens to put me on the cutting-edge, which 
is nowhere I imagined myself being — is that I used 
a lot of this home-video equipment," she says. 
"I'm held up as an example, but it's all just a big 
old accident. And it's also a big old accident that 
Alzheimer's is now Disease of the Year." 

Hoffmann is quick to credit the contribution 
of Frances Reid, a producer and director in her 
own right who is also her domestic partner of 10 
years. "It's hard to separate out the film and deal- 
ing with my mother; neither would have worked 
without Frances," she says. "For some peculiar 
reason, my mother went nuts for Frances." In 
order to make what she originally thought of as a 
home movie, Hoffmann needed someone to do 



film has suddenly defined itself as lesbian-positive. 
"That was a big decision for me, whether to 
include that moment or not," says Hoffmann. "I'd 
worked on a lot of gay films, mostly social-issue 
films. Now, Ronald Reagan is interested in 
Alzheimer's, and he and I have seemingly nothing 
in common. So here I am making a film that would 
appeal to people who don't usually see films I work 
on. And yet, my mother kept looking at Frances 
and saying Frances' name. She insisted Frances be 
in the film, basically. So I had to decide: am I going 
to throw this monkey wrench into this nice, mid- 
dle-American subject of Alzheimer's? Suddenly, 
it's a gay film." 

Editor Jennifer Chinlund, who is not a lesbian, 
was responsible for the scene's inclusion. "Jennifer 
was the one who really insisted when I would get 
cold feet. 'No, you really have to put this in,' she'd 
say. And she's right. It's so revealing that my 
mother could have this deep-seated | homopho- 
bic] prejudice, which the Alzheimer's makes you 
realize is based on nothing," says Hoffmann. 

Uncomfortable in the role of Pollyana, 
Hoffmann nonetheless acknowledges a silver lin- 
ing when she sees one. "I tell people my mother 
has Alzheimer's and they say, 'Oh, I'm so sorry.' 



14 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



Well, I'm sorry, too, but there's an incredible posi- 
tive side. I get unconditional approval in a way 
that I never had when she was who she used to 
be." Having overcome her prejudices, Doris 
Hoffmann has apparently accessed a new level of 
consciousness. "The really weird thing about this 
is my mother does appear to be on an incredible, 
other plane now, intuiting on some very deep 
level," Hoffmann suggests, wary of sounding too 
New Age. "When I finished the film, the next day 
I went to visit her. I walked in and she looked up 
and said, 'Is the film done?"' 

No longer able to recognize images of herself, 
Doris Hoffmann will never see her dutiful daugh- 
ter's portrait of their breakthrough to uncondi- 
tional love. However, she may somehow know 
that together they have created an inspirational 
message that Ronald Reagan may find irresistible. 

Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter is available through: 
Deborah Hoffman, 5569 Lawton Ave., Oakland, CA 
94618; (510) 654-5846; fax: 4783. 

Enn Blackwell is arts editor at Dykespeak, a San 
Francisco -based monthly. 



T 

KAYO HATTA 

<±Ajrit^ir/3£r&ctonr 

PICTURE BRIDE 

By Fatimah Tobing 

RONY 



ike most first-time 
filmmakers, Kayo 
Hatta is driven, 
passionate, and 
poor, thanks to 
five years of pour- 
ing all her labor 
and financial re- 
sources into her 
debut feature. 
Hatta's Picture 
Bride, which won 
a coveted Audi- 
ence Award at 
Sundance and 
will be released this spring by Miramax, has been 
heralded as the first dramatic feature film pro- 
duced and directed by an Asian Pacific American 
woman. But its genesis has little to do with being 
the new Asian American flavor of the month. 
This film, which tells the story of a young Japanese 
woman who comes to Hawaii in the early 1900s 




for an arranged marriage with a sugarcane planta- 
tion worker, was over half a decade in the making. 

Hatta, a Haw-aii-born, second-generation Jap- 
anese American, began working in independent 
film in the mid-eighties with documentary-makers 
Pat Ferrero and Felicia Lowe. This was "a real 
good introduction to independent filmmaking," 
recalls Hatta, who was inspired by their example 
as women filmmakers. She learned a thing or two 
about the process of raising money through grants, 
an education she later put to use when financing 
Picture Bride. 

In 1986 Hatta went to the UCLA film school, 
getting her MFA in 1991. Combining her interests 
in women's studies and ethnic history while in 
school, Hatta began researching the plantation 
period in Hawaii at the turn of the century, a time 
when 20,000 women were brought from Japan 
(including Okinawa) and Korea to become wives 
of the plantation laborers. 

"Photography made it possible for these men to 
find wives," she explains, "instead of matchmaker 
meetings in the homeland." She began interview- 
ing many former picture brides, but what really 
inspired Hatta was hearing the recordings of hole 
hole bushi, the songs Japanese women sang when 



because, "I had a concept in mind, but I really did- 
n't have a story," she admits. "Trying to make his- 
tory come to life is very hard. I didn't want it to 
feel like a docudrama, I wanted it to feel like a real 
story." 

Hatta was convinced the story she wanted to 
tell couldn't tit into the constraints ot a 16mm, 30- 
minute thesis film. Nonetheless, she used school 
assignments to film parts of her script, cowritten 
with her sister, Mari Hatta, which then became 
visual samples for her grant applications. Because 
of the historical component of her subject, Hatta 
applied to sources that traditionally emphasize 
documentary film, such as the National 
Endowment for the Humanities, the Paul Robeson 
Fund, and the Hawaii State Foundation for 
Culture and the Arts, as well as the American 
Film Institute and the National Endowment for 
the Arts. 

After graduation, Hatta brought Lisa Onodera 
and Diane Mei Lin Mark on board as producers. 
Onodera was previously associate producer of 
Arthur Dong's Forbidden City, U.S.A., and Mark 
was writer/associate producer of Pearls, an Asian 
American film series that aired on PBS, as well as 
former director of development for Asian 




working in the sugar cane fields. These were "very 
simple poems expressing their daily life and the 
hardships they were going through," says Hatta. 
But they could also be surprisingly bawdy. The 
raunchiness of the songs and the hardship and 
abuse they described flew in the face of the stereo- 
type of Japanes- women as docile geisha girls. This 
prompted Hatta to write a film that explores plan- 
tation history "from a very personal view... from 
the eyes of a woman." 

It took five years to make the film partially 



Cine Vision. They were able to attract well-known 
actors to the project, including Youki Kodoh 
(Mystery Train), Tamlyn Tomita (The Joy Luck 
Club), and the legendary Toshiro Mifune, who has 
appeared in countless Akira Kurosawa films. 
Mifune was cast in the role of the benshi, the silent 
film narrator. During the era of silent pictures, ben- 
shi brought films to life by reenacting the different 
character roles. It was the benshi, more than the 
on-screen actors, who were the main stars of 
Japanese silent movies. Casting Mifune felt like a 



March 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 15 



miracle to Hatta. "I realized, 'Oh my God, I'm 
going to be directing Mifune! What am I going to 
say to him?'" During the shoot, she found him 
"wonderful to work with, totally respectful of me 
as a much younger woman director. He took it 
seriously, even though it was a small part." 

When hiring the crew, Hatta's goal was to work 
with as many women as possible. "I knew it was 
going to be a long labor of love," she explains. "It 
would need people who had a real personal inter- 
est in the subject matter, because so much of what 
is going to carry you through with the crew is the 
connection to the subject." She also brought in 
like-spirited and talented men, such as director of 
photography Claudio Rocha (Like Water for 
Chocolate). 

In addition, Hatta received much support from 
Asian-American communities in Hawaii, who 
donated catering, hotel rooms, rental cars, and 
labor (some women's groups, for example, sewed 
the period costumes). 

The seven-and-a-half-week shoot was finished 
in August 1993. However, Picture Bride had a long 
postproduction period. It was accepted to the 
1994 Sundance Film Festival in rough-cut form. A 
month before the festival, Miramax bought world- 
wide rights. However, Hatta felt that the film 
needed more editing and withdrew it from 
Sundance. The distributor's backing allowed 
Hatta to undertake some important reshoots and 
to bring in another editor for major structural 
reediting. After the picture premiered at Cannes, 
there was further editing and a whole new music 
score and sound design added. This version final- 
ly had its U.S. premiere at Sundance 1995. 

Hatta is aware ot the limits feature films face 
when dealing with the complexities of history. She 
expresses frustration in not being able to fully por- 
tray all aspects of Hawaiian plantation life, espe- 
cially how the haole (white) plantation owners 
encouraged the racial stratification of their labor 
force, which generally included native Hawaiians, 
Portuguese, Chinese, Koreans, and Filipinos. But 
in the end, Hatta is satisfied that her vision was 
realized after those five long years of work. 

"It was incredibly hard," she concludes. "For 
your first film, you normally don't do a period film, 
set on location, in another state, in another lan- 
guage, with costumes, horses, babies, special 
effects, fire... everything that people tell you not 
to do on your first feature, especially if it's low 
budget. But whenever I got really depressed, I 
would put on tapes of these old women singing. 
That would inspire me and keep me going." 

A cultural critic and videomaker, Fatimah Tobing Rony 

is currently writing The Third Eye: Race, Cinema, 

and Ethnographic Spectacle (Duke University Press). 

This article was published with support from the St. Paul, 
MN-based Center for Arts Criticism, with a grant from 
the National Endowment for the Arts. 



tctHc show 

AMERICAN 
VALUES 

By Ray Kelleher 



Marilyn Freeman, 
producer of the 
American Values 
series (left) with 
host Reiko Callner. 
Courtesy 
American Values 




M ft* 




i 







ometimes a film- 
maker chooses 
the work and 
sometimes the 
work chooses her. Whipping up a talk show series 
with no plan, no money, and no time was not an 
item on filmmaker Marilyn Freeman's list of fun, 
spare-time projects. In the summer of 1993, how- 
ever, a civil rights battle was brewing in the state 
of Washington, and Freema, who lives in Olympia, 
saw that images would be the primary weapons. To 
counter a campaign of disinformation and fear 
mongering, gay-positive video and intelligent dis- 
cussion were needed fast. As an artist and lesbian 
with a career in video journalism, Freeman hap- 



pened to have precisely the combination of skills, 
motivation, and media savvy to make it happen. 

The result is American Values, a series of 12 
half-hour talk shows designed to put human faces 
on the civil and political concerns of gays and les- 
bians. The series uses a panel-and-moderator for- 
mat and a buttoned-down tone to explore issues 
like adoption, family, Christianity, and hate crimes 
as they affect sexual minorities. According to 
Freeman, the show has aired in more than 15 
cities in Washington and has reached half a mil- 
lion homes. 

Freeman conceived American Values in direct 
response to an inflammatory documentary, The 
Gay Agenda, being distributed by anti-gay groups 
to churches and public access 
cable channels throughout 
Washington. At the time, a state- 
wide campaign was underway to 
outlaw legal protection for gays 
and lesbians. "The film was 
incredibly disturbing," says 
Freeman, who describes it as a 
collection of outrageous shots 
from gay-pride parades inter- 
spersed with commentary from 
fringe psychologists and apocalyp- 
tic voiceovers. Freeman saw the 
video at a public screening and 
discussion organized by Hands 
Off Washington, a coalition 
formed to defeat the anti-gay ini- 
tiatives. 

"After seeing it, everyone was 
saying we needed a video that 
tells our story. I always figured 
someone else would do it, but that 
night something changed for me. 
I knew there there was no way, 
given the skills I had, I could not 
do something." 

Those skills come primarily from 
five years of reporting, writing, 
and producing shows for National 
College Television in New York. Presently, 
Freeman serves as head of video telecommunica- 
tions for the Washington State Department of 
Information Services. Through her production 
company, Olympia Pictures, she produced and 
directed the film version of In My Father's Bed, 
Randa Downs' one-woman show about incest 
which screened at the 1994 San Francisco Lesbian 
and Gay Film Festival. 

American Values cost $12,000 to produce with 
an all-volunteer crew. That includes 12 episodes, 
public service spots dropped into the breaks, and a 
half-hour documentary about the series and the 
production team. The funding came entirely from 
private donations of anywhere from $10 to $1,000, 
"and every single one blew my mind," says 
Freeman. 



16 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



She explains that she wanted to give the show 
a generic, network look that would make it mar- 
ketable anywhere in the country' and could be eas- 
ily refreshed with new segments. For this reason, 
discussion topics are intentionally broad and pan- 
elists tend to be mainstream, often heterosexual, 
representatives from government, the religious 
community, and human rights groups. Reiko 
Callner, a prosecuting attorney with a civil rights 
background, hosts the show. 

American Values was shot live to tape with three 
cameras. According to Freeman, the bulk of the 
expense came in postproduction, particularly for 
the public service spots. "We needed them to 
break up the program and give it a little gloss," she 
says. 

In the interest of expediency and budget 
Freeman searched for gay-rights PSAs and footage 
she could use off-the-shelf, but she could find 
nothing targeted for a middle-of-the-road, hetero- 
sexual audience. She knew going in that it was 
pointless to preach to the choir, which left her no 
choice but to work from scratch. 

"I felt it was important to get straight people to 
listen to other straight people talk about gays. We 
needed to talk to them in their comfort zone," 
explains Freeman. American Values addresses this 
audience from the assumption that no one wants 
to fear or hate gays, but if a vacuum of knowledge 
is allowed to exist, fear and hate have a way of fill- 
ing it. As Americans, the show continually 
reminds us, our values are rooted in neither homo- 
sexuality nor heterosexuality but in tolerance, 
interdependence, and dignity. 

When asked if she considers herself an activist, 
technician, or artist, Freeman lunges at the third 
choice as if it were a good meal about to go cold. 
As of this writing, she's in the midst of casting her 
first narrative film, Meeting Magdalene, a quirky, 
lesbian romance from her own script. "1 want to 
work with actors and tell stories," the 37-year-old 
Freeman says, recalling a point three years ago 
when a breast cancer scare prompted her to sort 
her priorities. Ultimately, she turned down a 
chance to enter NYU's graduate film program in 
order to pursue her life in the Northwest and find 
her own way into filmmaking. 

The anti-gay initiatives failed to make last 
November's ballot, and the boards are clear for 
her to do work from the heart. Even so, the polit- 
ical and creative sides of Marilyn Freeman contin- 
ue to share close quarters. As she puts it, "I'm not 
hardcore. I'm just personally very out. That ends 
up making you an activist these days." 

American Values is available through: Olympia 
Pictures, Box 341, Olympia, WA 98507-0341; (206) 
438-9502. 

Ray Kelleher is a freelance writer living in Olympia, 

Washington. 






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ing ball is scanned, for example, a 3-D 
image of the object is projected onto a 
12' by 16' silver screen. Guests can 
then coax these computer-generated 
objects into performing an eclectic 
range of activities by scanning addi- 
tional bar codes. Commands include 
punch; merge; tremble; wallflower; 
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The geneology of today's multimedia art can be 
traced to performance artists in the seventies and 
eighties, such as Laurie Anderson, with whom the 
Brooklyn/Bay Area-based Hoberman worked as 
an animator, producer, and occasional flutist. 
Preferring tangible objects rusted with history, 
Hoberman admits to having avoided computers 
and computer-generated images for as long as he 
could. But working with Anderson reinforced his 
interest in using technology to create a shared, 
media-enhanced environment. 

According to Hoberman, most virtual reality 
environments "require an endless wait on an inter- 
minable line, only to briefly enter a rudimentary 

18 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



world 

in which one is a solitary 
inhabitant with nothing to do." 
Aiming for a more social, more 
genuinely participatory virtual 
environment, Hoberman created 
the Bar Code Hotel. First 
designed during a residency at 
the Banff Centre for the Arts in 
Alberta, Canada, as part of their 
Art &. Virtual Environments 
Project, this virtual reality envi- 
ronment was created on the 
Silicon Graphics platform, using 
SGI Performer, a tool kit designed 
tor programming virtual reality 
environments. So far, the Hotel 
has welcomed guests at Banff and 
Ars Electronica '94 in Linz, 
Austria. 

Cumbersome virtual reality 
headsets and data gloves are 
nowhere to be found in 
Hoberman's VR world. Nor are 
there standard colorful pixellated 
images. Upon checking into the Bar Code Hotel, 
guests pick up a supermarket bar code scanner 
suspended from the ce-iling and a pair of old-fash- 
ioned 3-D glasses. Bar Code Hotel is the consum- 
mate Super Store; only the commodities have dis- 
appeared. What's left behind are the sober black- 
and-white stripes of bar code, covering every sur- 
face of the room. 

Each bar code represents an object or action. 
When the bar code for cheese, scissors, or bowl- 




(The more lofty activities — think, assimilate, 
remember, and ruminate — are printed too high on 
the wall to be reached.) 

Instead of being isolated in their individual 
headsets, Bar Code Hotel guests can see, hear, and 
speak to each other, so interaction occurs between 
participants and not just on-screen. The Hotel can 
accommodate any number of guests, limited only 
by the space in which it is installed and the avail- 
able number of bar code wands. 

Unlike the "choice -mode" prevalent in com- 



mercial interactive programs, Bar Code Hotel does 
not offer predictable multiple-choice answers to 
predetermined questions. Participants are not 
handed a narrative, but create one — harmonious 
or hostile, sensical or not — as they go along. 

For Hoberman, virtual reality doesn't necessar- 
ily make a radical break from other participatory 
art forms, but it raises questions about what inter- 
action really is. What is the difference, for exam- 
ple, between imagining a scenario and being able 
to push a button and perform it.' 

"There is a lot of rhetoric about the work that's 
being done with computers and technology and 
about how artists are visionaries leading us into 
the future," says Hoberman. "It's not so important 
that the artist come up with some great new medi- 
um, as much as the artist be the one who makes 
sense of it and gives us a handle on what all this 
technology is going to mean." 

By Kris Malden 

Kris Maiden is a freelance writer living in 
Neu.- York City. 







TOUCH ME 





THE BURGEONING NUMBER OF 
CD-ROM TITLES AND THE BURST 
IN SALES OF MULTIMEDIA COM- 
PUTERS HAVE MADE EVERYONE 
EAGER TO JUMP ON THE MULTI- 
MEDIA BANDWAGON. CONTRARY 
TO POPULAR BELIEF, MANY CD- 
ROM TITLES ARE NOT THE PROD- 
UCT OF INTERNATIONAL ENTER- 
TAINMENT AND SOFTWARE CON- 
GLOMERATES, BUT ARE SAFELY 
IN THE HANDS OF INNOVATIVE 
SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS MAK- 
ING HIGH-QUALITY PRODUCT ON 
START-UP COMPANY BUDGETS. 

Nowhere is this more true than in the realm of 
CD-ROM magazines. Like their print counter- 
parts, multimedia magazines contain a number of 
articles on a variety of subjects, read or used in 
whatever order the reader chooses. The insertion 



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of video and music, in addition to text, brings the 
genre closer to the TV magazine, with the added 
plus of interactivity, i.e., go where you want to go. 
The most surefire way to get one of these maga- 
zines is to subscribe, as distribution channels for 
CD-ROM magazines are still in the process of 
establishing themselves. Are CD-ROM magazines 
software. 7 Are they newsstand magazines? Are 
they CDs? They're an amalgam of all the above, 
which is why they might turn up in software stores, 
bookstores, or record stores. Unlike other CD- 
ROM titles, magazines are intended to remain on 
shelves for a limited time, until the next issue is 
released, and, in the words of Blender's David 
Cherry, "they have the potential to become col- 
lector's items." 

You don't need a degree in nonlinear scriptwrit- 
ing to get involved in one of these magazines. A 
Hi8 camcorder and a willingness to show your 
work on the really 
small screen will do. 
Also required is a will- 
ingness to collaborate 
with programmers and 
designers on a multi- 
media fusion in which 
the video segment is 
only one part of the 
whole. 

The predecessor for 
CD-ROM magazines is 
the interactive Elec- 
tronic Hollywood. The 
first two issues were 
released on PC floppy 
(though never on CD- 
ROM) in 1991 and 
1992. Electronic Holly- 
wood 3 was released on 

the World Wide Web in February 1995. Within 
Electronic Hollywood's digital memory base are 
nonlinear stories from filmmakers and screenwrit- 
ers, interviews with multimedia digital artists, ani- 
mations to download, and digital music from Elliot 
Sharp's band Carbon and Bailter Space. The 
February on-line issue contains interactive stories 
by Chris Gore, publisher of Film Threat, and Bruce 
Benderson, who wrote the screenplay for Monika 
Treut's feature M;y Father Is Coming. 

Although "low bandwidth" Electronic Holly- 
wood producer Jamie Levy prefers not to work 
with the CD-ROM format, because it reaches 
fewer people, her experience with film- and video- 
makers crossing over into interactive, nonlinear 
storytelling is the most extensive among those 
involved in the multimedia publishing field. She 
started off as a film/video production major at San 
Francisco State, moving on to become one of the 
first graduates at New York University's Inter- 
active Telecommunications program. 

"Filmmakers and screenwriters have a ten- 




j^i_ 



Blender is one of the new breed of interactive magazines 
that delve beyond the written word. Courtesy Blender 



dency to write linear stories," says Levy. "I tell 
them, 'Let's stop at the first paragraph and break 
the story into three paths.' Break things into short 
stories, as opposed to long narratives." 

Electronic Hollywood, Box 448, Prince Street 
Station, New York, NY 10012; jlevyQzecho.com. 

Another early pioneer is Eric Swenson, co-pub- 
lisher of Blam!, an anarchistic, multimedia assault 
on the senses. Blam'.'s premiere issue, released in 
1993, was text-based, featuring click-and-read fea- 
tures on Tom of Finland, plus sound and light 
intensive poetry readings such as the William S. 
Burroughs-like "Ode to Interactivity." While the 
first issue was made with HyperCard and included 
no video, Blam'.'s second issue (dubbed "The Dog 
and Flower Issue," released in February 1995) is 
the first to be produced with Macromedia Director 
and includes video. According to Swenson, Blam! 
is "moving beyond the standard QuickTime video 
insertion mode." 
Blam! is interested in 
artists "who have 
proven they can move 
into different domains 
and still maintain their 
edge," Swenson says. 
"We don't want to be 
utilizing video for its 
own sake. We want to 
work with people who 
have found ways to uti- 
lize their video tech- 
nique as a component 
tool and subset to a 
greater multimedia vis- 
ion. And we want them 
to collaborate with us as 
artists." 
Contact Blam! at: Blaml 
i" mmdvox. phantom, com. 

Digital Culture Stream, a pop culture magazine 
with everything from 900-foot Jesus video clips to 
DC comics to features on caffeine, was launched 
last fall. Editor-in-chief Dan Newman says he wel- 
comes submissions from independent media 
artists. "Our general theme is any way in which 
digital technology affects pop culture," Newman 
says. The magazine runs a digital gallery in every 
issue, highlighting a particular artist's work. 
Newman is interested in works that foreground 
how the mediamaker is using digital media to 
enhance their works. And, contrary to the popu- 
lar notion, Newman says multimedia doesn't nec- 
essarily have to be nonlinear. "As an art form, all it 
has to do is include a combination of video and 
music," he observes. "It has to be an experience. 
You can get one without being nonlinear." 

Contact Digital Culture Stream at: 1-800-5- 
STREAM or dcstream(a netaxs.com 

The first issue of Blender, released last fall, was 
music heavy, including filmed interviews with 



20 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



Henry Rollins, Alice Cooper, Luscious Jackson, 
and a host of indie bands. Future issues will broad- 
en to include a focus on film and technology. 
Besides reviews, Blender intends to introduce a 
gallery section that will contain two minute sub- 
missions from independent mediamakers, plus 
video interviews. "We're more interested in dis- 
covering and publicizing unknown filmmakers," 
says Blender's programmer David Cherry. While 
Cherry admits that the medium is in its infancy at 
the moment, he expects full screen, full resolution 
video by mid- 1996 at the latest. 

Blender: (212) 302-2626 or BLENDME& echo- 
nyc.com. 

These CD-ROM magazines are no doubt a sign 
of things to come. "I think interactive scriptwrit- 
ing has a huge future, and people might consider 
learning how to write within that paradigm, unless 
they prefer narrative storytelling," says Electronic 
Hollywood's Levy. "All of the sudden, Time 
Warner's interactive TV test went ahead. As soon 
as that's in all of the homes and people watch TV 
through their computer monitors or vice versa, it's 
going to be a huge market." 

Tom Samiljan 

NYC-based Tom Samiljan (100331.2517(5 com- 

pitserve.com) writes about film, music, and technology 
for Interview, Time Out, and is venturing into multi- 
media journalism with Blender. 



INTELLECTUAL 
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RADIO AND TELEVISION, IN 
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meaning. To some, the concept of intellectual 
property sounds elitist, scary, and remote from our 
everyday lives. Yet intellectual property is what 
will drive the economy in the 21st century. 

So what is intellectual property? Call it "invisi- 
ble property." For mediamakers, it is the invisible 
component of a film, record, book, CD-ROM, 
etc., which is generally dealt with in one specific 
area of intellectual property: copyright. 

The other areas of intellectual property of less 
relevance to mediamakers are patents (which pro- 



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tect inventions), trademarks (which protect dis- 
tinctive symbols and names), and trade secrets 
and confidential information. 

Copyright does not protect ideas, themes, or 
stories. Rather, it protects the "fixation" or the 
particular expression of an idea, theme, or story. A 
script for a film, video, or CD-ROM is protected 
by copyright. In many ways, copyright, or intellec- 
tual property, is what protects the content of the 
information superhighway as well. 

And without content, there would be no infor- 
mation superhighway. Since the late eighties, 
investors have been quietly acquiring content to 
fill the Infobahn, purchasing electronic rights to 
intellectual property. Time Warner has been 
acquiring electronic rights to material for years. A 
major impetus behind the recent bidding war for 
Paramount was that the winner would control the 
Paramount movie/television inventory and the 
intellectual property assets of Simon & Schuster, 
one of the country's largest book publishers. Bill 
Gates has been busy acquiring shares of smaller 
software and multimedia developers, as well as 
companies like Darling Kindersley, a major inter- 
national book packager. The business press is full 
of stories about companies such as CBS, QVC, 
Blockbuster Video, the telcos, and Steven 
Spielberg looking to acquire or merge with other 
companies to ensure they have valuable intellec- 
tual property inventories. Hollywood is aggressive- 
ly trying to assert its role as content provider. 
Large talent agencies like CAA and ICM and 
guilds like the WGA, DGA, AFTRA, and SAG 
are busily promoting the creators and artists they 
represent as the ones who will create the content 
of the information superhighway. 

Intellectual property has always been the 
underlying basis of the film industry. Now, with the 
information superhighway developing before our 
eyes, issues of intellectual property are becoming 
more complex. Nonetheless, when creating a work 
that will be distributed on-line, the utilization of 
copyrighted material (e.g., scripts, music, stock 
footage, etc.) should follow existing rules: if the 
work is in the public domain, you may freely use it. 
If your use of a work is covered by the "fair use" 
doctrine, it will still be considered fair use on the 
Infobahn. If you previously had to obtain permis- 
sion to use a copyrighted work, you still must do so 
in order to reproduce, adapt, or distribute it over 
the information superhighway (see Mark Litwak, 
"Getting the Goods for Multimedia," 
August/September and October 1994]. 

Increasingly, distribution over the Internet is 
becoming a plausible model. Last July, Columbia 
Pictures announced a plan to promote its films on- 
line. The studio intends to create video clips, 
photo, and text materials based on its movies, 
which on-line service subscribers will be able to 
screen and download to their personal computers. 
On November 12, the Rolling Stones made histo- 



22 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



ry by broadcasting a concert live over the Internet. 

Although Internet has the potential to reach 
millions of people, keep in mind that cyberspace is 
not subject to laws and regulations. You will have 
difficulty ensuring that the copyright protection of 
your work is not violated, even though you might 
have copyright notices all over it. (When distrib- 
uting your work on the information superhighway 
or anywhere else, you should register it with the 
U.S. Copyright Office: eel: 202/707-3000. This is 
not mandatory, but it will provide you with a num- 
ber of advantages should you ever have to sue for 
copyright infringement). If your primary purpose is 
to disseminate your work as widely as possible, 
without concern about copyright protection, this 
may be a fine way to distribute a film or video. But 
if you're more protective about your rights, you 
might want to use more traditional methods, until 
the technical means to protect copyrighted works 
(like encryption) become a reality. 

If you are dealing with a distributor, pay careful 
attention to your distribution agreement. The dis- 
tributor may want something to the effect of dis- 
tributing the work in all media in existence now or 
in the future. You should try to negotiate some- 
thing narrower. Think of yourself as a writer with 
a publishing contract for a book. If the contract is 
narrowed to publishing the book in print format, 
the writer can then renegotiate for electronic pub- 
lishing rights at a later date, which means more 
money and more control in the hands of the 
writer. 

As mediamakers, you are constantly dealing 
with the creation, acquisition, protection, and dis- 
tribution of intellectual property. As such, you are 
ahead of the game in understanding its concept 
and practical implications on the information 
superhighway. The technology may be new and at 
times overwhelming, but so far the same intellec- 
tual property laws apply. The federal government 
is presently looking at ways to fine-tune the laws 
to reflect the new technology. But the basic prin- 
ciples of intellectual property will remain the same 
on the Infobahn. 

Lesley Ellen Harris 

Lesley Ellen Harris (ae345(afreenet.carleton .ca) is a 

consultant on copyright law and legal issues relating to 

creators' rights, information, and technology and author 

of Canadian Copyright Law (McGraw-Hill Ryerson). 

This information contained in this article is not 
meant as legal advice. Proper legal consultation 
should be sought where necessary. 



AIVHMiwe 

Find information, technical tips, advocacy updates, and 

member gossip, questions & news on ArvT'S America 

Online niche. 

KEYWORD: A B B A T E 

Look for AIVF under the 

ABBATE message center topics. 



A Word from the 
Vice President 



From Vice President Al Core's speech to the 
National Press Club, December 21, 1993: 



There is a lot of romance surrounding the 
sinking of the Titanic 91 years ago. But 
when you strip the romance away, a tragic 
story emerges that tells us a lot about 
human beings — and telecommunications. 

Why did the ship that couldn't be sunk 
steam full speed into an ice field? For in the 
last few hours before the Titanic collided, 
other ships were sending messages like this 
one from the Mesaba: "Lat42N to 41.25 
Long 49W to Long 50.30W Saw much 
heavy pack ice and great number large ice- 
bergs also field ice." 

And why, when the Titanic operators 
sent distress signal after distress signal, did 
so few ships respond? 

The answer is that — as the investiga- 
tions proved — the wireless business then 
was just that, a business. Operators had no 
obligation to remain on duty. They were to 
do what was profitable. When the day's 
work was done — often the lucrative trans- 
missions from wealthy passengers — opera- 
tors shut off their sets and went to sleep. In 
fact, when the last ice warnings were sent, 
the Titanic operators were too involved 
sending those private messages from 
wealthy passengers to take them. And when 
they sent the distress signals operators on 
the other ships were in bed. 

Distress signals couldn't be heard, in 
other words, because the airwaves were 
chaos — willy-nilly transmissions without 
regulation. 

The Titanic wound up two miles under 
the surface of the North Atlantic in part 
because people hadn't realized that radio 
was not just a curiosity but a way to save 
lives. 

Ironically, that tragedy resulted in the 
first efforts to regulate the airwaves. 

Why did government get involved? 
Because there are certain public needs that 
outweigh private interests. 

Today, as divers explore the hulk of the 
Titanic, we face a similar problem. A new 
world awaits us. It is one that can not only 
save lives but utterly change and enrich 
them. And we need to rethink the role of 
government once more. 

How do we balance private needs and 
public interests? 



Ray Benjamin Video 



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March 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 23 



-0i and 




Like monks, they are devoted to the totality of process, literally minding their 

own business as they move along the pilgrim's path vending from Concept to 
Realization. Independents who produce and shoot their qmi projects often discov- 
er that the process of working as a one-person cr&v invigorates their art in 
subtle ways not easily realized when collaborating with a larger group. 



24 THE INDEPENDENT \Uirc 1 1 1 995 



h 



By Mitch Albert 

Going it alone precludes many of the most common anxieties, such as 
the cost of maintaining a crew; the undesirability of distracting or intim- 
idating people while documenting them; the angst over the 
DP's/gaffer's/sound person's competence, and so on. 

Of course, the one-man-band approach yields its share of migraines. 

The more variables one must control at once, without any 

^^ immediate technical or moral support, the more problems 

tend to multiply. 



**T 



of SOLO s 



ftOO^ S 




ZEN 
AND THE 
ART OF 

DOCUMENTARY 

The genre overwhelmingly associated with "solo flying" is documentary, 
in which compelling drama and social relevance may be conveyed with- 
out the extensive financing, and prep work required by even the most 
pared-down narrative film. Moreover, once the notion of heading a crew 
has been done away with, a new perspective on the nature of the docu- 
mentary experience unfolds. If film is being shot, the impracticality of 
sync sound may lead to full concentration on the image and equally so 
when the time comes for separate interviews, voiceover, music, and 
effects. If video is being shot, the convenient housing in one unit of both 
audio and visual equipment maximizes the ability to get closer to the sub- 
ject. 

There is a sense of wholeness that arises when the same mind that 
develops a concept and mines a theme must also position the microphone 
and squint through the viewfinder. Working alone saves scads of money, 
but a greater goal might be the attainment of something pure. 

"A director often cannot answer for certain aspects of a film: cine- 
matography, sound, editing, whatever," says Alan Berliner, whose docu- 
mentary Intimate Stranger is a character- driven examination of his grand- 
father's life choices. "When you do everything yourself, you are responsi- 
ble for all the decisions. All roads go through me. Actually sitting and 
recording a subject is a different feeling than standing aside while some- 
one else does it. You feel the words etched onto the tape; it's an engage- 
ment with the material." 

There can be no insulation from even the most piddling problems 
when working alone. The boundary between life and art may begin to dis- 
solve, leading to a true merging with craft. "Filmmaking is a process tied 
to the contour of my life at the time," Berliner says. "Doing the laundry 
and making dinner are part of making the film." 

For Jennifer Fox, a documentarian who has logged considerable time 
both alone and with crews of two or more, the process is a subsuming one. 
Following her acclaimed film Beirut: The Last Home Movie (shot with a 
crew), Fox traveled the world with a Hi8 rig alongside a wandering 
Tibetan lama and, most recently, spent two years — nine months alone — 
training her video camera on the life of an interracial family living in New 
York for American Love Story (currently in postproduction). "You're living 
someone else's life, and your own does not matter," she says. "I have no 
life while documenting [my subjects]. That's the beauty and the difficul- 
ty of it all." 

Patience, tenacity, and equanimity are necessary attributes that must 



be cultivated in order to shoot alone and survive. Is this monastic for- 
bearance worth it? With a crew to blanket all the angles, the filmmaker 
becomes a choreographer arranging the elements of production. Alone, 
he or she must plot the steps and dance them as well. 

Ros> McElwee, a veteran maker whose film Sherman's March has 
become a classic of autobiographical exploration, is another true believer. 
He "love[s] the autonomy," the privilege of making absolutely every deci- 
sion concerning the direction of the work. "I have enjoyed collaborating 
with others," he says. "But the films I do myself are the ones that haw- 
garnered the most attention. "Certainly, 
your work is compromised," McElwee con- 
tinues. "There is shakier camera- 
work, the sound is off more. But the end 
result is that you get something more person- 
al, more satisfying. A crew can accomplish 
things more easily than an individual, but certain things can be accom- 
plished more distinctly by [shooting solo). It means the use of the camera 
like a pen, as in writing a novel or an essay." 

THE SOUND BARRIER 

The most intractable difficulty encountered among the crewless, working 
in either video or film, is the attempt to snare good sound without the 
comparative luxury of even a boom operator. Sound becomes a hydra- 
headed hassle best tackled by thinking ahead and equipping oneself with 
several options. 

First, does the project require on-camera interviews or exchanges of 
dialogue? Berliner's Intimate Stranger depended a lot upon the recollec- 
tions of family members, yet no interviews were filmed. Instead, he 
obtained them with a high-quality cassette recorder and decided at the 
editing stage which images best suited which sound and vice versa. 
Berliner shot "intuitively, without thinking about which images would 
match the interviews. I am more concerned about making discoveries 
about the material as opposed to preconceived notions about it." 

Fox, on the other hand, cannot imagine separating the duties in her 
work. "When live dialogue happens, [sync sound] is crucial," she sa\s. "It 
you're alone, you have to adapt your shooting style to get better sound. 
Use a wider focal length, get closer to your subject; the closer the mike is, 
the better." In her solo video work, Fox has used a combination of a wire- 
less lavalier microphone worn by her subject and powered by a batten 
pack around her waist, along with a Sennheiser ME80 (shotgun) mount- 
ed atop the camera body. 

"The short shotgun combo is the way to go for live action," she says. 
"When the lavaliers work, they're like gold, but they can destroy you 
when there are problems. A sound person would take care of it, [but 
when you're alone], you have to stop shooting and fix it yourself. There 
is a reason to use high-grade radio mikes, but it's surprising how well the 
cheap ones work." The more expensive lavaliers can mean significantly- 
less stress, however — their advantages include better sound and smaller 
power packs, and they are more easily concealed on the subject's body. 
(Fox suggests bending a wire in a "half moon" around the microphone to 
shield it from clothing rustle.) Fox also recommends a Sennheiser exten- 
sion that adds about three feet to a microphone's range and affords "a lit- 
tle more sound control, except you're always wrestling with it as you move 
around." 

When Michel Negroponte shot his feature Jupiter's Wife, about a 
homeless woman living in New York's Central Park, he "thought of him- 
self as more of a sound person than as a cameraman," he says. "There 
were certain restrictions that became uncomfortable. I would find a fixed 



March !<><).-> THE INDEPENDENT 25 



focal length, frame the shot, and keep it there for the whole interview. It 
was impossible to pan away, because the mike moved with the camera. 
More elaborate ways of shooting became very difficult." 

Negroponte shot the film for more than two years, and on S-VHS. The 
camera, like many older models and current consumer grade camcorders, 
had Automatic Gain Control (AGC). "The AGC was one of the biggest 
problems," Negroponte says. "It searches for a new sound level when 
something just slightly louder occurs in the background or nearby, and 
makes the adjustment when it isn't appropriate." 

The sound quandary is bypassed when interviews and live-action dia- 
logue are less the heart of a work. Su Friedrich and Karen Kramer are two 
16mm soloists who work largely with silent Bolex cameras. (Friedrich 
alternates with a Canon Scoopit, also silent.) Their use of sound depends 
more upon their own sensibilities than the words of their subjects. 
Friedrich's films, like Sink or Swim and Rules of the Road, are personal, 
experimental narratives rich in lyrical commentary. She is also fond of 
using music and 'found' wild sound, such as a sermonizing priest or a 
Coney Island afternoon, as contrapuntal or complementary to her images. 
Without the need for sync sound, Friedrich enjoys freedom from worry 
about her license to shoot being hampered in any way. "I've worked out 
over the years how to shoot and be very inconspicuous," she says. "People 
tend to get nervous and ask you to stop filming" if they see a lot of gear. 

Kramer's films are ethnographic studies ranging in topic from Brooklyn 
street carnivals to snake-handling religious fundamentalists to Haitian 
voodoo rituals. She shoots silent footage and later adds music and 
voiceover, though she has at times had friends help out with 
sound and boom. Kramer has also figured out a means of 
obtaining sound while working alone: "In Brazil I was 
shooting a dance ritual in honor of a sea goddess, and my 
assistant never showed up. I had to keep changing 
100-ft. loads, so I pulled someone aside and asked 
him to hold the boom. Everything came out 
fine." 

TOO CLOSE IS COMFORT 
A sense of shared intimacy 
with the subject is 
one of the key 
elements moti- 
vating solo fly- 
ers. "Following a 
Haitian peasant 
woman around 
as she went 
about her 
daily 
routine 
would 
have 
been 
impos- 
sible with 
a full crew, 
Kramer says 
"The more elements you 
bring in, the more removed 
you are from the subject." 
When the filmmaker is an out- 

26 THE INDEPENDENT Marc! 



sider, unobtrusiveness is a greater advantage. "My films tend to be about 
other cultures," Kramer says. "And ordering a crew around really detracts 
from contact with the subject. I like the duet I am able to have because 
there is no one else." 

"People will tell you their stories [and] be vulnerable," says AIVF 
board member Barbara Hammer, who has been shooting mostly solo for 
about 25 years. "They'll tell you about that suicide attempt, which they 
might not if someone is holding a boom in their faces." Hammer is best 
known for Nitrate Kisses, her experimental film essay on the reconstruc- 
tuction of lost histories from a gay and lesbian standpoint. Some of that 
film's most remarkable scenes occurred as a result of the access granted to 
Hammer by several couples to film their lovemaking. "For these explicit 
sex scenes, it was imperative to be alone," she says. "By the fourth cou- 
ple, I was more comfortable; it took some time to get used to the situa- 
tion. But with only one person there, they could really get into them- 
selves, and my relationship to them became more appreciative. I became 
a participant, in a way." 

Fox acknowledges that the multiplicity of technical tasks that must be 
performed may threaten that sought-after intimacy. "There is an emo- 
tional problem there," Fox 
says. "An interview is all 
about creating rapport. If 
you're shooting alone, 
you're 





working double time. You're watching 
not only the frame and focus, but 
there is also psychological work to be 
done. You must develop the capacity to split 
your focus." She suggests locking the camera 
down if the subject has difficulty talking 
to it instead of a person. "Otherwise, 
begin by looking through the 
eyepiece so lifting your 
head becomes 
the exception 
and not the 
rule — it's 
good to be 
consis- 
tent." 
What's 
more, Fox 
continues, 
the necessi- 
ty of dividing 
your atten- 
tions can lead 
to bad camera 
moves and bad 
sound. "It's impor- 



tant to get a lot of cutaways and coverage. Reenact hand movements later 
it you have to, to provide a cut." Fox now works with a former student of 
hers, who handles sound. "1 don't recommend shooting your own inter- 
views if you can afford not to," she says. "The concept is to create a sacred 
space, an uninterrupted space." 

Ellen Bruno extols shooting single for both the easier intimacy with a 
subject who might be otherwise reluctant and the lightweight traveling 
that makes it possible. Bruno has made two films documenting troubles in 
Cambodia (Samara, crewed) and Tibet (Satya: A Prayer for the Enemy, 
solo). Currently she is heading, alone, to Thailand and Burma to docu- 
ment on Hi8 the selling into sexual slavery of young Burmese women. In 
Tibet she focused on victims of torture by the occupying Chinese forces. 
"The camera was so small, it enabled me to keep a low profile," Bruno 
says. "It would have been very difficult for me to go to the places I want- 
ed to go if the authorities thought I was 

anything but a naive 
tourist. Every time I 
pulled out the cam- 
era I had to risk 
attention from one 
of the many under- 
cover policemen, 
and in tact, I did 
get a lot of scruti- 
ny from them. I 
had to be calcu- 
lating, asking 
questions about 
this or that 
hotel, but the 
camera 
helped." 

FILM VS. 
VIDEO 
Film costs 
big time, 
video not. 
This tru- 
ism is 
widely 
respected among 
independent mediamakers, especially those 
who shoot single-crewed documentaries, and has led more and more 
filmmakers to set foot onto video terrain. 

Friedrich's newest film, about lesbians and childbirth, is 16mm but for 
the interviews, which are being shot on Hi8. Kramer also is using Hi8 in 
her new work, which documents the Hasidic Jewish community in 
Brooklyn. She positively vouches for "the more flexible approach" afford- 
ed by her "toy," a TR-101 camcorder. Negroponte, who comes from a film 
background, has also been won over to Hi8 via S-VHS. 

"I spent $120 on tape," says Friedrich, who worked solo on her current 
film for almost two years before attracting financing (from ITVS); the pro- 
ject will be completed with a crew. "To film the same material would have 
cost me $40,000. Of course, a tape transfer to film is costly, but it's still less 
expensive." Likewise, Negroponte estimates that the footage he shot for 
the $400 he spent on tape stock would have cost over $50,000 to shoot in 
16mm. "It's totally liberating," he says of the savings. "I experimented, did 




stutt I would never have done otherwise." 

Friedrich grudgingly accepts the video alternative, but calls it "too 
easy." She adds, "There is something so mindless about it — it makes me 
lazy. With film you have to imagine the end product in a way that's hard 
to put into words. There's a psychological preparation involved when 
you can't shoot something, play it back, and keep going." 

McElwee echoes this impression, though he, too, may incorporate Hi8 
into his films "in a marginal way" if financing is unavailable for a 16mm 
production. "Two pieces of equipment are more cumbersome than one, 
but shooting film enforces a kind of discipline I might not have with 
video," he says. "You have to anticipate more with film." 

Negroponte, on the other hand, has fallen for the medium's aesthetic. 
"There's a little technical sideshow in each film I make," he says. "In 
Jupiter's Wife it was the macro lens. I shot the park, subtle things like 
rocks and trees with it, and it was very appropriate — a particular way of 
seeing the world, like my subject has." For his new project, Negroponte 
is using a Canon A-l consumer grade Hi8 to shoot a scripted, "impres- 
sionistic performance piece" about New York. He adores the "gain up 
device, which creates a very subtle strobe effect. You can aim the camera 
into a dark corner, trigger the gain up, and details come out, like push- 
ing [the ASA of] film stock." 

Bruno came from a 16mm, crew-oriented approach, and also had 
much experience working as an activist for the release of political 
refugees. For Satya, she had planned to shoot 16mm, and prepared to 
leave for Tibet to conduct preliminary interviews on audio tape. A last- 
minute whim persuaded her to switch to Hi8 for the interviews, and her 
enthusiasm for this new medium swelled to the point where she elected 
to shoot the entire project on video. "It totally changed my mind about 
filmmaking," Bruno says. 

She, too, is a fan of the A-l. "I like what it does in low light and low 
contrast situations," she adds. "I have lit fires or candles that have been 
enough to boost the light to obtain a reasonable image. But in high con- 
trast, bright, wide shots, the image falls apart. The way it records light is 
harsh and unappealing, because it doesn't handle a lot of information 
well. It can at best look like 16mm shot with grainy film and a crummy- 
lens. So I kept Satya to close and low-light shots, and people are surprised 
it was shot on tape. The warmer light in the close shots bring out the tex- 
ture of people's skin in a really beautiful way. 

"But then, I've seen amazing images shot with a Kodak Brownie. It 
gets to a point where you have to stop blaming the limited technology 
and look at the person operating the camera." Furthermore, Bruno says, 
viewers "forgive" a less-than-satisfying image if it is consistent with the 
visual timbre of the rest of the film. "If you intercut with Beta or 16mm," 
she warns, "you'll be begging for comparison." 

Certain topics may be better suited to either Hi8 or film. An assess- 
ment of the project's aims is as much in order as the number of dollars 
saved or the solo work involved. While working on her latest documen- 
tary, Fox observed this axiom in operation. "Shooting Hi8 allowed me to 
shoot for two years in a small environment, at any given moment, with 
intimacy. What was financially imperative ended up being right for the 
project. In Beirut I was documenting.the end of an aristocracy; it had to 
be lush and beautiful. So I shot [Beirut: The Last Home Movie] in 16mm." 

Negroponte's imperative was as much logistical as financial. He, too, 
shot his documentary over two years, juggling a schedule that included a 
"real" job. The video format granted him the leeway to pick up the thread 
with minimal planning. "Gathering a crew, all the gaffers and gophers, 
really inhibits the process," he says. 

The decision to shoot video is usually based upon the economic value 



March 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 27 




it deliv- 
ers; the 
two -hour 
coverage 
afforded 
without 
changing 
mags, film 
stock, etc.; 
and the 
ability to 
watch 
dailies immediate- 
ly if desired. However, the video option may not be as dreamy as it 
appears. 

"Ironically, Hi8 is not cheaper [than film]," Fox says. "It's cheaper 
when you start, but once you begin bumping up to Beta, that can finish 
you off financially. For a 10-minute film you can take a chance mastering 
from Hi8 to Hi8, but for a big project with a lot of money, there is no 
choice. Everything you save in production, you pay for in post." 

The immediate footage -review gratification — the rushes rush — is not 
unreservedly recommended, either, on account of the demon dropout. To 
various degrees with various tape stocks, dropout occurs the more fre- 
quently Hi8 originals are played back: playback means more dust on the 
tape, and dust causes dropout. Fox suggests dubbing straight to VHS for 
viewing rushes, and to avoid stopping and starting the tape repeatedly. "If 
you must, use a home VCR to go to VHS," she says. "But the ideal situ- 
ation is not to screen anything at all. We stayed component, and 
mastered straight to video; most of our stuff was never looked 
at." Of course, the downside of staying component is the inabil- 
ity to gauge progress, to see which blanks need filling in, to nip 
a problem that has occurred without making itself evident dur- 
ing production. "There is not much time to spend looking at 
stuff when you shoot so much," says Fox, whose American 
Love Story has accumulated over 800 hours of 
footage. "Being independent means being 
understaffed." 

SOLITARY REFINEMENT 
Ultimately, the decision to work alone 
depends less upon the balance sheet ben- 
efits than upon personal inclination. The 
women and men who shoot crewless are 
like an order of ascetics who value the 
world but understand the serenity of 
detachment. It might be argued that , 
solo flyers are the most inde- S 

pendent of independents. To 
work alone means no compro- 
mise, no reliance upon the abilities, 
of anyone else. 

"It's much like traveling alone," 
says Bruno, who should know. "If 
you're with someone else, you tend to 
take refuge in them. By yourself, you 
become immersed in the community 



28 THE INDEPENDENT Mcirch 1995 




you're in, and that serves the project very well. There are always plenty of 
shoulders to cry on. Your subjects become your primary advisors, and the 
project becomes more community-based. With a crew, there is a tenden- 
cy to keep the production more insular." 

Berliner says the idea of a crew as an a priori assumption is a wrong- 
headed one. "Working with a crew presupposes there's a way to make 
films," he says. "Every time I shoot alone, I reinvent my knowledge of film- 
making. I rediscover the art through that alchemy, and I can create some- 
thing unique." 

Being crewless means acknowledging the realities of a given situation 
as they are, according to Hammer. "If something goes wrong, I just accept 
it," she says. "I've been doing this for too long to get emotionally involved 
[with imperfections]. I'm always thinking about the next step." That com- 
posure carries over to the physical attributes of production. "Lights are 
always whatever you can find at the location," Hammer says, by way of 
example. In South Africa, where she recently shot a camcorder docu- 
mentary on gays and lesbians in the townships, she "found some old lights 
at a collective. You do whatever; throw a scarf over a reading lamp, what- 
ever you need. I also use my body as a tripod." 

However, no man is completely an island. Most solo-operation media- 
makers build bridges at least occasionally to the populated mainland. 
"There's something false about claiming to work entirely solo," Friedrich 
says. "From the moment I start a project, I'm talking to someone about it. 
People whose work I respect are always reading my scripts — I can go 
through 30 drafts — and I get incredible input. Other people help me 
understand [issues of] structure; if I only did what I know how to do, my 
films wouldn't be the same." 

Likewise, Berliner: "I have a group of friends and colleagues I bring in 
at certain stages to show a film, to measure how it's working. 
Something happens when you show a film 
before 'the clay is dry.'" 
Sinyle-crew directors also cherish the 
freedom to pace the progress of a film 
according to their own sense of the 
rhythms of time. "I had always envied pho- 
tojournalists," Negroponte says. "To just be 
able to throw a camera in a bag and go out. 
Some days I would go out [to shoot] for an hour 
or two, and others for the whole day. It I had to 
get a crew together every time, it wouldn't have 
worked." 

Berliner enjoys the "perverse benefits" of working 
alone, unbeholden to the timetables of others. "You 
can allow the whole thing to ferment, and the elabora- 
tion of the process allows the film to mature. It took Intimate 
Stranger three years to bloom. If it had taken one and a half, it 
wouldn't have been as good." 

He acknowledges the flip side of all that freedom, however. 

"You become a prisoner of your own joy," Berliner says. "You 

have to be willing to suffer the patience of getting things done. 

It's an arduous process, but you make whatever sacrifices, do 

whatever it takes. You know, some people think of film as a business. 

was never in business; I'm in love." 

Mitch Albert, editorial assistant at The Independent, is a fledgling documentari- 
an whose preference runs to a maximum crew of two (the catering's clieaper) . 



Traveling light: Alan Berliner uses a luggage cart to 
tow all his equipment on one-person shoots. 

Courtesy filmmaker 



By Tim Wright 

Despite possessing substantially identical technical specs and 
cost, Hi8mm and S-VHS resonate very differently among pro- 
ducers. Hi8 is cool, S-VHS is L7. S-VHS is marriage, Hi8 is an 
affair. The Boston Film/Video Foundation fills day-long Hi8 
workshops as fast as they can schedule them. They have never 
done an S-VHS workshop. Paul Reynolds of CF Video, a Boston 
postproduction house, reports getting about five calls a day 
about Hi8, the same number he 



gets about S-VHS in a year. 

What's going on here? 
Perhaps it's time to interrupt the 
heavy breathing, at least long 
enough to scrape away at the 
image and ponder what's 
underneath. 

I use Hi8 myself almost exclu- 
sively and teach others how to 
do so as well, but I am skeptical 
about the universality of Hi8's 
appeal. I have come to believe 
that perhaps as many as half the 
people I encounter in Hi8 work- 
shops might well find S-VHS a 
more appropriate format for the 
media work they are doing. 

Why? The Hi8 advantages are 
four: size, size, size, and audio 
quality. 

Let's take size first. If you do most of your shooting on a tri- 
pod, the size difference between Hi8 and S-VHS is largely irrel- 
evant, and S-VHS tapestock is much more reliable than Hi8 (ask 
any post house that has experience with both). In addition, there 
are appealing low-end editing options in S-VHS that don't exist 
in Hi8. For instance, you can do true insert editing (i.e., split 
audio/video edits) on an industrial S-VHS edit system, whereas 
you are stuck with assemble editing only in Hi8 unless you edit 
to another format, which brings with it other problems. So in this 
case, if you can't afford Beta, you should be shooting S-VHS, not 
Hi8. 

But what about the lower S-VHS audio quality? It's true that 
all consumer and professional Hi8 camcorders record AFM 
audio across the entire width of the tape, which gives Hi8 high- 
er fidelity audio than consumer S-VHS camcorders, which record 
audio only on two narrow bands near the edge of the tape. But 
if you are doing script-driven, tripod-mounted work in which you 
can close-mic your subjects, even an audiophile cannot hear the 
difference. Only in music recording does a Hi8 difference 
become discernible. 

So when should you use Hi8? When size and weight matter. 
Some obvious examples: 




1 ) When you're shooting at times and in places where you're 
not supposed to be shooting at all. 

2) When you're documenting your own life and trying to live 
it at the same time. 

3) When you're documenting a process as it unfolds and need 
to be ready to shoot at any time. 

Here's an example. I'm in downtown Osaka, Japan, with my 
cameraperson, Karen Ellzey. She is carrying a Hi8 camcorder 
mounted on a "steadycam." I'm carrying all our accessories 

(batteries, lights, mics, tape, 
etc.) in a canvas bag. We are 
attempting to trace the fate of 
the steel from a recently demol- 
ished elevated subway line in 
Boston. The steel has been put 
on the world scrap market and 
sold to a factory near Osaka for 
re-smelting. We are waiting for 
permission from Tokyo, which 
may never come, to tape here. 
Meanwhile, we just walk around 
and notice a high-rise under 
construction. We peek in at the 
canvas-shrouded first floor and 
see a group of workers cutting 
up 50 gallon oil drums with 
torches. A security guard comes 
to shoo us off, but ultimately 
gives way to friendly persuasion. 
"The steel workers are having 
an 'end of the job' party," he reveals. "You are invited." We wind 
up shooting the whole party and interviewing many of the work- 
ers. Within two hours, the party is over. The construction work- 
ers will not be back. 

If we aren't carrying our rig on our shoulders, we don't get it. 
If we're not shooting Hi8, we don't carry a rig with us. It's just 
too heavy. That, in a nutshell, is why I shoot Hi8 and would con- 
tinue to do so even if I had the money to buy a Beta rig (which 
I don't). It's not that the quality is wonderful. It isn't. The para- 
dox of shooting in marginal formats like Hi8 or S-VHS is that you 
have to shoot and light more skillfully than with higher formats, 
which have much more latitude for error. But you get stuff you 
simply don't get with other formats. Period. 

So when you're trying to decide which format to use, try to 
resist the Hi8 mystique. Instead, ask yourself coldly what kind of 
shooting this kind of project and — if you are buying — future 
ones will require. If they can be scripted in advance or involve 
mostly sit-down interviewing, if they don't require the recording 
of live music, and if Beta is beyond your budget, chances are you 
will be better off shooting S-VHS. 



Tim Wright is a documentary producer 
and teaclier in Boston. 



March 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 29 



you submitted your program to pbs ' s 
National Program Service and were turned 
down. Ditto with the regional public TV 

PROGRAMMING SERVICES. WHAT NEXT? SOME 
PRODUCERS PEDDLE THEIR PROGRAMS STATION BY 
STATION. The top GATEKEEPER at this level 
is the station program director. 
Michael Fox talks with four of 
them about their jobs, their programming 
pressures, and their interaction with 
independents . 

At its most basic, the job of program director (or programming director or 
programming manager) at a public television station consists of acquiring 
and scheduling the monthly programming. 
The program director has one eye on the 
budget, one eye on the PBS feed, one eye 
on the Nielsen ratings, and one eye on the 
hot issues, unique demographics, and shift- 
ing trends that distinguish his or her con- 
stituency from those of other public sta- 
tions. For an independent producer look- 
ing to sell his or her work directly to a local 
station, this is the person to contact.* 

While much of a station's programming 
is culled from PBS or one of the regional 
programming services, most stations also 
generate a few hours a week of news and 
public affairs broadcasts. The number of 
slots is increasingly limited for independent 
productions, especially with public stations 
whipsawed by the vicious financial climate. 

The more ambitious program directors construct their monthly sched- 
ules with an emphasis on recurring themes rather than merely program- 
ming 30 individual nights. They'll often match new national programs 
with existing shows that tackle the same theme from a local angle. In 
addition, program directors will often propose ideas to their associates on 
the production side for original programs to run in conjunction with a 

* Contact information for all public TV stations and personnel can be found in the 
CPB Public Broadcasting Directory, available for $15 from: CPB, 901 E Street NW, 
Washington DC 20004; attn: Rick Schooley; (202) 879-9600. 



PBS piece set for 
a few months in 
the future. 

The wild card, 
and one that is 
played with de- 
creasing fre- 
quency, is the 
independent 
producer. Most 
program direc- 
tors are in agree- 
ment that inde- 
pendent film- 
and videomakers 
represent a valu- 
able resource; 
however, their flexibility in airing such works is limited. I spoke with four 
program directors from around the country about the way they approach 
their job and their openness to working with independents. 





KCET-Los Angeles 



At KCET in Los Angeles, one of the largest 
public television markets, the responsibilities 
of program director fall in the hands of direc- 
tor of broadcasting Jackie Kain. In Kain's 
view, the nature of the job shifts from station 
to station, depending as much on personali- 
ty as job structure. At KCET, Kain's position 
entails creating events, giving shape to the 
monthly schedule, and making viewers 
aware of programming. "There's a difference 
between scheduling, programming, and 
curating," says Kain, a six-year veteran of 
public broadcasting following stints as a 
curator at The Kitchen in New York City 
and director of the National Video Festival 
at the American Film Institute, among other posts in the nonprofit 
media-arts world. "It involves looking at the schedule as a whole — not 
only the voices, but the forum in which they are arguing." For example, 
Kain is sensitive to factors such as getting a representative number of 
women producers on the air each week and avoiding the pitfall of con- 
centrating programming on African-American issues in February (Black 
History Month). 

KCET's support of independents includes Independent Eye, a Friday 
night summertime series underwritten by the California Arts Council 
that features programs of short works curated by local media arts organi- 



30 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



zations, such as L.A. Freeways and Visual Communications. (KCET pays 
$50/minute for Independent Eye programs and $30-$40/minute for other 
acquisitions.) The station also has produced several editions of The 
Works, a three-hour special consisting of five essays created by Southern 
California artists who utilize the station's camerapeople and editors. 
KCET also picked Lip one 90-minute program from KQED-San 
Francisco's 13-week Living Room Festival of short independent films and 
videos. And it's worth noting that KCET also employs independents as 
staff producers — Taylor Hacktord and Arthur Dong are among the nota- 
bles who've done stints there over the years — knocking out public affairs 
documentaries on tiny budgets and tight deadlines. 

Kain, assisted by program manager Claire Aguilar (formerly of UCLA's 
Film and TV Archive), administers an open solicitation process for fin- 
ished work on an ongoing basis. Kain describes KCET's outreach as "fair- 
ly aggressive" and, because she serves on NEA, California Arts Council, 
and P.O.V panels, she considers herself aware of new work. 

The bad news is the station's chronic three -month backlog of 
unwatched tapes. "A big problem for us is we have so few screeners," Kain 
concedes, "and I would get really upset if I were a producer and dealing 
with us." While she encourages independent producers to approach her, 
she acknowledges, "Most of the things we license, we have gone after. We 
get a lot of stuff over the transom, such as local public access tapes, that 
I don't think is very good. And because I'm in Los Angeles, I want to 
work with producers from Los Angeles first and foremost. But I can 
always use more." 

As for proposals for new work, KCET's flexibility — like that of all pub- 
lic stations — is limited by financial constraints. But, Kain maintains, "If 
it's something we think we can raise money for and we like, we'll get 
involved." The station is currently in production on Chicano, a series 
aimed for national broadcast in 1996 or 1997, with the National Latino 
Communications Center, executive produced by Hector Galan. 



KET-Kentucky 



Kentucky Educational Television is the largest public broadcast network 
in the country, with 15 stations operated by a single licensee. Thanks in 
part to an enlightened state legislature, KET may also be the most sup- 
portive network for independent filmmakers — although most of the 
resources are limited to locals. Programming director Dick Hoffman, 
who's based in Lexington, rattles off a slew of arrangements that provide 
independent programming for his schedule. 

The four-year-old KET Fund for Independent Production annually 
funnels $100-200,000 of state money to Kentucky independent produc- 
ers, in individual grants of up to $20,000. Separately, KET gives the 
Appalachian media arts center Appalshop $50,000 a year. Appalshop's 
film production unit is given the leeway to decide which programs to offer 
the network. Hoffman also programs a Saturday night series, consisting 
primarily of independently produced documentaries, as well as a summer 
series under the banner Kentucky Independents Presents. In addition, 
Hoffman writes a column, "Dick's Pick," in KET's monthly program guide 
that spotlights potentially overlooked programs (such as Greg Waller's At 
the Picture Show, a 48-minute work that documents a small Kentucky 
town and its local movie house). "We've tried to build up an audience for 
independents," he says. 

Another way Hoffman backs independents is with letters in support of 
grant applications to the Kentucky Humanities Council. "We help them 
leverage as best we can so they can get funded," Hoffman explains. He 




airs about 10 works per year 
Kentucky people who receive; 
funding (whether or not he 
had written a letter of sup- 
port). KET pays $300 for 
a half- hour program and 
$500 tor a one-hour 
show. 

Hoffman culls 

about 10 to 15 percent 
of his schedule from 
the American Program 
Service (APS), an 
alternative national pro- 
gramming service, and 
the regional programming 
services, including Southern 
Educational Communications 
Association (SECA) and Central 
Educational Network (CEN). But he sees 

no substitute for the passion and style that are hallmarks of work by inde- 
pendent producers. "If you take it with good humor and understand the 
problems independents have, you can form a terrific alliance," Hoffman 
asserts. "There are a lot of things independents can do that we can't do. 
Some of the most popular things we've had on the air over the years were 
independent productions." 



Courtesy KET 



KCTS -Seattle 



KCTS reaches 1.3 million viewing households in the Seattle area, plus 
another 900,000 over the border in British Columbia. Program manager 
Jane Sheridan describes her primary responsibility as constructing the 
program schedule. "The underlying notion in our station — and most 
major markets — is we have far more programs available to us than we 
have time to schedule," Sheridan states. Faced with the usual budget con- 
straints on one hand and the availability of free shows from numerous 
sources on the other, Sheridan points out, "The least efficient way is [for 
an independent producer] to sell individually to stations." 

Sheridan's major criteria for an acquisition are its local/regional inter- 
est and its appropriateness for primetime. 
"The HUTs (households using televi 
sion) are higher in primetime, with 
more of a potential audience 
With our acquisitions budget, we 
can't pay for programs we can't 
air in primetime," Sheridan 
explains. Primetime programs 
receive $10 per minute — 
roughly the same rate as KET's 
Programs outside of primetime 
receive nothing. However, 
they do have some steady vis- 
ibility there. Sheridan has 
instituted a late-night 
Saturday series, Wild Card, 
for cutting-edge pro 
grams like ITVS' 
TV Families, The 





Photo: Peter 
Rummel, courtes; 
KCTS 



h 1 995 THE I N D E P El 



DENT 31 



Ride, and hi the Life. 

When an independent producer approaches Sheridan with a finished 
work, she's more interested in the topic and the filmmaker's credentials 
than in where the filmmaker lives. However, like KET's Hoffman, she'll 
write a letter to funders in support of a project with a local hook — as she 
did with a proposal centering on children who rode the rails to 
Washington state during the Depression. (Sheridan always makes it clear 
to the producer that she doesn't guarantee she'll air the program.) The 
ideal situation, Sheridan suggests, would he a producer with extensive 
television experience who came to KCTS with partial funding already in 
place for a high-visibility, primetime series based on a nonfiction book 
about the West. The station would jump on the project and help find the 
rest of the financing. 



"Program managers are 

getting busier and busier,' 

says KCTS's Sheridan. 




"The broadcast channel is 
just one aspect of 

what we do." 

Also on the plate is 

interactive television, HDTV, 

satellite compression, and 

electronic education. 



Sheridan's advice for producers with finished stand-alone programs is 
to get the show to a regional distributor such as APS, SECA, Central 
Educational Network (CEN), or Pacific Mountain Network (PMN). She 
encourages producers at the development stage to budget extra funding 
upfront for distribution, i.e., either to cover the cost of giving the program 
to a regional programming service or to eliminate the need to generate 
revenue from broadcast. 

From a broader perspective, Sheridan notes that the wave of new tech- 
nology is gradually transforming her job. Her energies are increasingly 
spread among interactive television, HDTV, satellite compression, and 
the changing face of electronic education. "Program managers are getting 
busier and busier," Sheridan says. "The broadcast channel is just one 
aspect of what we do. Evaluating and dealing with each idea is very time- 
consuming." 

KTCA- St. Paul/Minneapolis 

Tom Hotter is director of programming for KTCA and KTCI (a UHF sta- 
tion that airs weeknights only), which serve the nation's 12th largest 
Nielsen market. Hotter includes audience analysis and tracking viewer 
trends among his responsibilities, along with constructing the schedule. 
He also collaborates with KTCA's in-house cultural, public affairs, and 
community affairs producers. 

Cohesiveness is Holter's aim: "It's nice if there's a thread that ties 
through." For example, when in 1991 KTCA aired PO.V.'s presentation 
of Tongues Untied, Marlon Riggs' video about being black and gay, the sta- 
tion produced a live local call-in with Riggs (via satellite from the Bay 
Area) and Twin Cities gay and lesbian representatives. 




Courtesy KTCA 

Echoing a theme heard around the country, Holter emphasizes that 
the local angle is increasingly important. "In the last 12 months, we've 
had to more narrowly define our priorities to the upper Midwest," Holter 
says. "We will still buy things from independents, but we really only can 
when they speak directly to local concerns. A film about the Minneapolis 
Teamsters strike of 1934 — those are the projects that are particularly hard 
to find." 

When it comes to programming of independent producers, the sta- 
tion's jewel is Alive TV. This series of commissioned and acquired inde- 
pendent works, offered nationally by PBS, is, of course, also a presence on 
presenting station KCET's schedule. (Alive's acquisition rate for the 1995 
season — $600/minute — is among the best for national distribution via 
PBS.) The station also airs MNTV, a Sunday late-night slate of finished 
works by regional independent filmmakers that KCTA curates with local 
media centers, such as the Minneapolis Film Board and the Walker Art 
Center. [See "I Want My MNTV," p. 9.] The station pays $600-800/hour 
for most independent acquisitions; MNTV, which oftens features short 
works, pays $20/minute. In addition, Holter says, "We try to carry virtu- 
ally everything ITVS offers," referring to the Saint Paul-based 
Independent Television Service. KCTA's production department, mean- 
while, gets involved in development; Hoop Dreams began life as a half- 
hour KTCA production. 

As is the case throughout public television, KCTA is far more sup- 
portive of independent producers in principle and philosophy than in 
reality. "We have all the flexibility to pick them up," Holter says. "The 
wherewithal to pay the filmmaker is a different story." Holter readily 
acknowledges that, as a result, questions about his station's relationship 
with independent producers don't always provide the most positive 
answers. "Those are exactly the questions that are going to be tough ones 
for public television for a while," he says. "It's an issue we need to address 
at every juncture." 

Michael Fox is a critic arid columnist for SF Weekly, Film/Tape World, and other Bay 

Area publications. 



32 THE INDEPENDENT March 1995 



By James Ryan 




FEELING ISOLATED? 
PART SALON, PART 
SUPPORT GROUP, A 
WRITERS' UNIT CAN 
PROVIDE THE FEED- 
BACK AND CAMA- 
RADERIE YOU CRAVE. 



You've grappled with Syd Field's exercises, sat 
at the teet of Robert McKee tor a very long week- 
end, got shrewd with William Goldman's 
Adventures in the Screen Trade, honed your British 
sneer with Naked Hollywood, and opened your 
heart to Viki King in 2 1 days. 

Now you sit at your desk and write. Isolated, 
day after day, tapping the keyboard, going through 
the cycles: talent, no talent; original, derivative; I 
am sick, you are sick. 

Considering that many "experts" claim you 
need at least six or seven screenplays or 10 years 
under your belt before you can say you're really in 
control, it seems that, one way or another, you are 
going to be spending a lot of time doing this. The 
process of writing is long and slow and, at times, 
utter drudgery. But, ultimately, it is the deepest 
and most complicated issue you'll have to wrestle 
with as a screenwriter. 

Books outlining the modalities of creation and 



the chaos of the market, and pronouncements 
from the high priests of the seminar circuit do 
have their benefits. But where do you find support 
when in the midst of the most mundane task of 
actually creating something.' 

The answer is to organize. Create your own 
support system. You need feedback that is imme- 
diate and regular in order CO maintain the difficult 
practice of creating good work consistently. You 
need to talk. Discuss what you do, your trade, your 
work, with somebody who gets it. 

Here's the rub. How do you create community 
in our postindustnal society, one predicated on 
atomizing all of us into increasingly separate 
islands.' Assuming you'd rather not explore your 
pathology and imperfections in one of the 300-odd 
12-step programs, how can you hang out with oth- 
ers and talk about your craft.' 

No one said this was going to be easy. 
Collectivism, altruism, and selflessness may be 
necessary. 

A writers workshop, or, as they call it in the 
theater, a Unit, is the best way to help you with 
these elusive yet profoundly real matters. 

A Writer's Unit is part salon, part support 
group. Suppose you need to pitch something 
before you have to really pitch something. Or you 
have a germ of an idea tor your next project and 
need to talk it through with your peers. Perhaps 
you want to do a reading of your new screenplay 
with actors after a rehearsal period in front ot 
other writers, because writers give the best notes. 
A Unit can provide all ot this. It breaks the isola- 
tion and generates the inspiration that comes from 
being challenged by your peers. It costs little or no 
money to do and is one ot the best ways to keep 
yourself growing as a screenwriter. 

I have organized or helped organize several 
Units in the theater over the last decade. What 
works well tor playwrights will work well for 
screenwriters. Here are the things I have learned: 

First, find an umbrella organization or institu- 
tion that can lend you credibility and support — a 
film school, a respected journal or periodical, a 
local nonprofit theater, or a YMCA. A 
Screenwriters Unit will appeal to an institution's 
self interest for many reasons. Identity' these and 
act upon them. However you choose the umbrella 
organization, you should make sure it has a staff in 
place that can give you some ot its time in sup- 



porting the Unit — mailing notices, scheduling, 

etc. 

The Unit must be a safe haven. If its members 
have agendas other than sharing their work or giv- 
ing and receiving support, it will not work. It will 
implode, wither, or worse, twist itself into an enti- 
ty infused with Vatican intrigue, an endemic qual- 
ity ot the film studios and mini-majors — and who 
needs more of that in their lives? Writers need a 
place just tor writers and their concerns. They 
need a place to bring their work when everything 
is raw and fragile. If someone enters the group to 
make contacts or hustle a deal, the Unit loses its 
integrity and violates its organizing principle. 

Keep the size to something manageable. Fifteen 
writers is more than enough to begin. Organize 
writers based on talent and experience. Get a mix 
of sensibilities and interests, people who are differ- 
ent. A group is healthiest this way. It creates an 
environment where everyone can grow. 

Someone is going to have to make the first 
move, give the time and energy to get things start- 
ed. Altruism again. Someone is going to have to be 
the head of the group for no pay. Or at the very 
least, the facilitator. It is just a fact. Someone has 
to lock up and shut off the lights. It is best if this 
position rotates within the group. It prevents the 
consolidation of power, gives everyone the task ot 
being responsible, and strengthens the group. 

Meet every other week on Monday night. 
Meeting every week puts a strain on most people's 
schedules. Monday night is a very lonely night and 
ripe for the picking. The meeting should last, at 
the most, three hours. People can listen only so 
long. 

Everyone should go out for a drink and dinner 
after the meeting. This is very, very important. Just 
do it. It explains itself. 

Tailor your group to meet the needs that arise. 
Let it evolve and become what it needs to be. It is 
a participatory" democracy. 

Each group has its own lite span, like studio 
heads. This is okay. People come and go, drift 
apart, the energy dissipates. Don't fight it. Let it 
disband when it must; it you get three years out oi 
a group then you are doing very well. Organize 
again. That's what it's all about. 

lames Ryan is a playwright, screenwriter, and teacher 
who works in both \eu York and Lis Angeles. 



March 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 33 



Stormy Weather 
for Raindance 

DESPITE THE LONDON FILM MARKET'S 

PROMISING DEBUT IN 1993, 

THE CLIMATE IN '94 WAS HEAVY DRIZZLE, 

LITTLE SIZZLE. 




FREE DRINKS AND HORS-D OEUVRES WERE IN 
short supply at the "Meet the Buyers" reception, 
one of the Raindance market's most highly touted 
events. What's worse, the afternoon's main 
draw — buyers — were almost as scarce. 

More than 200 filmmakers, screenwriters, and 
video artists checked out Raindance '94 — 
London's only independent film market and show- 
case, held from October 15 to 21 — in hopes of 
generating a buz: for their projects and, more 
importantly, clinching deals with buyers from the 
U.S., the U.K., Asia, and Australia. But at the 
bare-bones reception, they found themselves 
vying for elbow room and a chance to chat with 
the few buyers present. 

Distributors who took a few hours to attend the 
banner event included reps from two Los Angeles- 
based ventures, Republic Entertainment and Live 
Entertainment, and a lone Brit from Visionary 
Productions, a U.K. -based home video company. 
The buyers had their hands full, fielding screen- 
play pitches and swapping business cards with 
zealous market participants, many of whom had 



recently completed 
their first projects 
and were looking 
to drum up interest 
in a second. The 
few reps came 
away pleased with 
their discoveries. 
Paul Almond, 

executive vice 

president of pro- 
duction and acqui- 
sitions for Live, 
who was scoping 
out "accessible, 
wider-release" fea- 
tures at the event, 
considers Rain- 
dance a great way 
to meet Britain's 
newest generation 
of independens — 
specialists in the 
art of producing 
commercially viable films for well under $1 mil- 
lion. Approximately 70 percent of the market's 
participants reside in the U.K., while 25 percent 
hailed from the U.S. 

Sara Lewis, executive director of acquisitions 
for Republic Pictures, was equally impressed with 
the untapped talent at this year's market. "Many 
of the filmmakers are passionate about what 
they're doing, which bodes well for their future 
projects," she says. Although Lewis adds that sev- 
eral films she screened this year "just missed" in 
terms of acquisition, such is the nature of film 
markets, which, unlike festivals, are accessible to 
anyone who pays an entry fee. 

But for many of the makers who scraped 
together between $75 and $300 to have their 
shorts, features, and works-in-progress screened 
during the week-long event, the reception was a 
bust. "I wanted more buyer for my buck," says 
Brett Renwick of Manhattan, who flew to London 
in search of funding for his new screenplay. 
Renwick had read in Raindance's application 



materials that 300 buyers attended last year's mar- 
ket. According to Elliot Grove, Raindance's 
founder and director, at least one-third of the 150 
projects screened in 1993 were sold to various out- 
lets, including home video companies and pay 
cable networks. But only around 100 buyers 
returned in 1994. 

The concept behind Raindance appears sound. 
Grove, a fledgling filmmaker who made his name 
conducting film workshops for micro-budget pro- 
ducers, kept two critical factors in mind when he 
conceived the event a few years back: timing and 
location. Raindance is held the week between the 
Mipcom market in Cannes and the Mifed market 
in Milan, when buyers from around the world 
flock to London for preview screenings — a pattern 
that has gained momentum in recent years. Its '94 
venue, the massive, eight-screen, Bugs Bunny- 
studded Warner West End is centrally located and 
close to the hotel where many buyers stay while in 
town. By making it easy for them to drop by, Grove 
anticipated he could attract those who don't usu- 
ally attend the U.S.'s major market for non-studio 
films, New York's Independent Feature Film 
Market (IFFM). 

Despite the apparent need for such a market in 
Great Britain, Raindance '94 failed to live up to its 
potential. Betsy Spanbock, director of European 
acquisitions for the Samuel Goldwyn Company, 
attributes the significant drop in buyer attendance 
between '93 and '94 to the increased number of 
companies that held private screenings, which 
kept buyers otherwise occupied "I think the 
amount was almost double last year's," she esti- 
mates. 

The buyer shortage aside, many of Raindance 
'94's shortcomings resulted from Grove's inability 
to plan and orchestrate a full week of screenings, 
seminars, and informal gatherings with virtually 
no assistance. During Raindance's first year, Grove 
had worked closely with Jamie Ader-Brown of 
Manhattan-based In Pictures. Ader-Brown, a pro- 
ducers' rep with firsthand knowledge of the over- 
seas market and the IFFM (which Grove had 
never attended), administered and programmed 
the U.S. portion of the 1993 market. By actively 
pursuing her contacts, Ader-Brown managed to 
solicit about 50 entries and attracted hundreds of 
buyers itching to discover the next Quentin 
Tarantino. The strong showing of films from the 
U.S. in 1993 included Jon Jost's Ail the Vermeers in 
New York, Chaim Bianco's The Pope of Utah, and 
Matthew Harrison's Rhythm Thief. 

This past fall, however, Ader-Brown took a less 
active role to concentrate on her own business. 
The number of U.S. submissions dropped to 24. 
Grove, with a three-person volunteer staff and a 
micro-budget of approximately $550, was on his 
own. He served as the market's director, adminis- 
trator, programmer, and publicist, as well as its 



34 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



buyer liaison. 

Try as he did to juggle tasks and put on a happy 
face, Grove was in over his head — and it showed. 
Buyers complained about a lack of advance mate- 
rials. Makers went without a seminar schedule. 
Most screenings began anywhere from 10 minutes 
to a half-hour late. Esteemed publications like the 
London Times and the London Independent, which 
covered the event in year one, ignored year two. 
Even Britain's alternative weekly, Time Out, and 
the London-based trade publication Screen 
International devoted no more than a mention to 
the screenings. Similarly, potential sponsors adopt- 
ed a wait-and-see attitude. 

Grove accepted the sophomore slump as a mat- 
ter of course. "It is very difficult to start anything 
new in London, where novel ideas are almost 
always met with great resistance," he explains. 

But Grove, a transplanted Canadian, was also 
met with resistance outside the U.K. Geoffrey 
Gilmore, director of the Sundance Film Festival, 
took offense to Grove's play on the Sundance 
name and publicly denied any affiliation with 
Raindance. As a result, Grove considered chang- 
ing the event's name to the SoHo Screenings, but 
eventually decided against it. 

From the outset, Grove also neglected to spell 
out whether Raindance is a market or a festival. 
This year there were four private screenings for 
buyers, with 120 film- and videomakers paying the 
market fee (down from 150 in 1993). The remain- 
der were "showcase" screenings open to the pub- 
lic. Three of these were invited films, for which 
the market fee was waived. 

The event's schizophrenic nature, Grove 
explains, stems from the insistence on the part of 
the London Film Festival, which runs from late 
October through November, to screen only U.K. 
premieres. Since, technically, a closed-door 
screening doesn't hurt anyone's chances of getting 
in to the more established festival, "I give makers 
the option of showing their films to the public or 
inviting only buyers," he says. 

Raindance '94's market roster was made up 

primarily of U.S. and U.K. features with a smatter- 
ing from France, Germany, and Canada. A num- 
ber of works-in-progress and three programs of 
short films — New British Shorts, New American 
Shorts, and New Horror Shorts on Video — round- 
ed out the schedule. 

One of the biggest crowd pleasers of the week 
was Trey Parker's Alfred Packer: The Musical, a far- 
cical Western that Parker says was rejected from 
several festivals because of its sometimes graphic 
content. The feature, which Parker shot for 
$125,000 while studying film at the University of 
Colorado, traces the steps of six gold panners as 
they trek across the Rocky Mountains in the late 
1800s. Musical numbers such as "When I was on 
Top of You," a ballad that Packer sings to his miss- 



ing horse, elicited chuckles from throughout the 
packed theater. While the film is more a send-up 
of standard American musicals than a socially sig- 
nificant work like Canadian maker John Greyson's 
AIDS-themed musical, Zero Patience, it is a lot ot 
fun. Unfortunately, Alfred Packer might be Parker's 
first and last independent film; he now lives in 
Hollywood and recently completed a pilot for Fox. 

Several U.S. films at Raindance '94 had 
screened at the IFFM a month earlier, including 
Michael Corrente's Federal Hill, K.B. Pugliese's 
Blue Days Lost, and Scott Felixson's Helium Head. 
Ader-Brown considers the double-screening strat- 
egy a plus. "New makers need as much exposure as 
possible," says. "It usually takes at least two 
screenings to sell a film." 

Another plus is that no more than two films 
screened simultaneously at the Warner West End. 
"Buyers only had to choose between two films 
rather than the hundreds that screen at one time 
during markets such as MIFED," she explains. 
Raindance's screening fees are comparable to 
IFFM's, she adds, and far less than other markets. 
[See "Raindance &. IFFM: A Comparison," p. 37] 
"At the AFM and Mifed, you can't even get in the 
door without a sales company's representation." 

Furthermore, many of the foreign buyers who 
attended Raindance '94 weren't at this year's 
IFFM. Rachael Shapiro, IFFM market director, 
confirms that the number of foreign sales reps at 
IFFM has declined in general since the event's 
1978 inception (although it remained level this 
past year, at 62 companies and 96 reps). Shapiro 
links the decline to increased competition. "There 
are so many festivals and markets out there now," 
she says. "Also, the IFFM follows the Toronto 
[International Film Festival], and people will 
either come because they're not far from New 
York or decide that they've been out of the office 
for too long and return home." 

It's no surprise that the two features Ader- 
Brown represented at Raindance '94 attracted the 
greatest number of buyers. Federal Hdl, former 
handyman Michael Corrente's stunning depiction 
of a tough, working-class Italian neighborhood, 
had secured a U.S. theatrical distribution deal 
with Trimark Pictures prior to the October screen- 
ing. But about 20 foreign buyers caught the feature 
at Raindance, including Spain's Cine Musy, 
Holland-based Meteor, Italy's Delta Video, and 
Scandinavia's TV 1000. As a result, In Pictures 
sealed at least one deal for overseas theatrical dis- 
tribution the following week at Mifed. 

Another of In Pictures' offerings, Vern Oakley's 
Mr. 247, premiered at Raindance and attracted a 
slew of high-powered U.S. buyers. Reps from 
Samuel Goldwyn, October Films, and Sony 
Classics turned out to watch the sugary nineties' 
tale of a pregnant woman who falls heart-first for 
her anonymous sperm donor. At press time, the 
ink was drying on a U.S. distribution deal. 




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Tears of a 
clown: 
Curious 
Londoners 
attended 
Scott 
Felixson's 
short film, 
Helium Head, 
at Raindance, 
but in terms 
of racking up 
potential 
sales deals, 
the screening 
was a bust. 
Courtesy 
Lighter 
Than Air 
Productions 



Texans KB 

Pugliese and 

Jennifer 

Payson, who 
coproduced the 
Gen-X feature 
Blue Days Lost, 
were looking 
for finishing 
funds at 
Raindance. 

I Courtesy film- 
makers 



Filmmakers unfamiliar with 
overseas territories had a more dif- 
ficult time luring buyers to their 
screenings. Scott Felixson, who 
opted to show his 30-minute short 
Helium Head publicly, attracted a 
decent crowd of curious Londoners. 
The film's name star, Dick Cavett, 
worked in Felixson's favor, as did his 
idea to rent a helium tank and hand 
out balloons in front of the Warner West End. But 
the promotional strategy failed to attract the 
European TV and theatrical buyers Felixson had 
hoped to meet. 

In the Warner theater's only gathering place — 
a lounge where coffee cost $3 a pop and the chairs 
are fastened to the carpeted floor — Felixson 
expressed his overall disappointment with 
Raindance: "I was under the impression that 
[Grove] would contact buyers in advance about 
the screenings, and that far more would attend. 
Instead, when I arrived, Elliot sent me to the 
Meridian Hotel in search of buyers. I don't know 
what they look like, and the concierge certainly 
wouldn't disclose what rooms they were in." 
Fortunately, Felixson took advantage of his prox- 
imity to British buyers by arranging appointments 
with Channel 4, the British Film Institute, and 
several film and home video distributors. 

In addition to screenings and receptions, 
Raindance '94 offered a number of panel discus- 
sions, but these proved another weak link. Typical 
was a screenplay pitching seminar at which I 
ended up serving as a last-minute recruitment on 
the panel of "experts." 

The Live Ammunition seminar drew more 
than 100 published and novice screenwriters. 
Feeling exhausted and a bit fluish after a full week 
of screenings and other lackluster events, I slid 
quietly in to a back-row seat of the dark theater at 
the Warner West End. 

How Grove spotted me, I'm still not sure, but 






he immediately insisted I join the panel. I had 
never written a screenplay. I had never funded 
one. With those credentials, I thought, I would 
fit right in. 

Far from representing Europe's funding com- 
munity, thez panel included only two profession- 
al producers, Sophie McHetchard of U.K. -based 
Zed Productions and Eliza Mellor of BFI 
Productions. The others, like myself, were 
recruited by Grove, who had promised market 
participants a rainstorm of activity and so far 
delivered only drizzle, to fill seats. Other last- 
minute recruits included Jason McHugh, Alfred 
Packer's student 
producer; Phil 
Alberstat, an 
entertainment 
attorney who 
had to dash after 
hearing the first 
few pitches; 
and, to my sur- 
prise, the 
American 
comedian Emo 
Phillips. 

I tried to remain alert throughout the two-plus 
hour session while a host of ghostlike figures rat- 
tled off pitches in the dimly lit theater. But after 
the nineteenth or twentieth, the ideas melded 
together into one long romantic fantasy drama 
action adventure rife with swashbucklers space 
invaders secret amulets political rebels and reli- 
gious fanatics. All I could think about was down- 
ing a warm pint of ale, no matter how bitter, at the 
closest pub. I imagine many of the screenwriters in 
attendance wound up feeling similarly drained. 
Despite all its shortcomings, Raindance '94 
did provide an opportunity for makers to network 
in an often chaotic atmosphere that, for better or 
worse, accurately reflected the low-budget aes- 
thetic. Independent camaraderie is a paradox that 
prevailed, as did the event's raw energy and casu- 
al feel. "I'm all in favor of low-key opportunities 
for makers to chat with distributors," says Samuel 
Goldwyn's Spanbock. 

When asked if she feels Grove can bounce back 
from a scathing, hastily reported Variety review, 
which declared Raindance '94 "a washout," 
Spanbock is optimistic. "Most buyers make deci- 
sii >ns based on what we tell each other, rather than 
what we read," she says. The Variety article aside, 
it remains to be seen whether Raindance can 
recover from poor word-of-mouth. Several infuri- 
ated makers felt Grove falsely inflated their expec- 
tations. One even asked for a refund — and got it. 
Yet Grove, a tireless soul, already is looking 
ahead to Raindance '95. He says he has lined up 
two new sponsors, London Radio and Empire mag- 
azine, and is looking tor a third to underwrite a 



buyer's catalog. Grove also hopes to create "much 
more public involvement" by initiating a nightly 
Best Short Film program in conjunction with the 
British Short Film Festival. The addition of a mul- 
timedia platform may seem a grand leap given the 
projection problems at this year's event. But who 
knows, maybe the new technologies will prove 
more cooperative than old-fangled film projectors. 

Although Spanbock acknowledges most buyers 
have yet to add the Raindance market to their list 
of must-attend events, she notes that it's still very 
young, and one sleeper film like Slacker or sex, lies, 
and videotape could easily make it an A-list attrac- 
tion. Ader-Brown agrees. "Elliot should be com- 
mended, not criticized, for furthering the move- 
ment," she says, and pauses a moment before con- 
cluding, "With all the talent that exists in the 
U.K., there's no reason why London shouldn't 
have the same type of launch pad New York 
already has with the IFFM." 

Contact: Elliot Grove, market director, 6 Chelsea 
Wharf, 15 Lots Rd., London SWIQ OQJ; tel: 01 1 44 
71 351 7748; fax: 01 1 44 71 352 7385. 

Michele Shapiro is managing editor of The 

Independent. She covered the Rotterdam International 

Film Festival in the May 1994 issue and most recently 

wrote about the Independent Television Service. 



Confused about which film and video markets are 
worth attending? Below is a list of domestic and 
international markets. Call ahead for specific 
dates and submission guidelines. 

European Film Market 

When: February; Where: Berlin, Germany (held in 
conjunction with the Berlin International Film 
Festival); US Contact: Linda Hansen, AlFA, c/o 
New York Foundation for the Arts, 155 Spring St., 
NY, NY 10013; (212) 366-6900 x333; fax: 1778; 
What's im offer: Features, docs; The Scoop: 
American Independents and Features Abroad 
(AIFA) reps U.S. theatrical features and docs with 
theatrical potential. 

MIP-TV AND MlPCOM 
When: April, October; Where: Cannes, France 
US Contact: Barney Bernhard, Reed Midem 
Organization, 475 Park Ave. South, NY, NY 
10016; (212) 689-4220; What's on offer. TV' pro- 
gramming, home video; The Scoop: Independents 
are best represented by a sales company but they 
can register for about $1,700. 

American Film Market 

When. February; Where: Los Angeles; Contact: 
Tim Kittleson or Missy Huger, American Film 
Marketing Association (AFMA), 10850 Wilshire 
Blvd., 9th fl. LA 90024; (310) 446-1000; What's 
on offer: Features; 

The Scoop: AFMA is a member organization tor 
sales companies. One must be a member to screen 
films at the event. Membership currently runs 
around $10,000. 

The Independenx 
Feature Film Market 

When: September; Where: Manhattan; Contact: 



36 THE INDEPENDENT March 1995 



Rachael Shapiro, market director, c/o Iilde- 
pendent Feature Project (IFP), 104 W. 29th St., 
12th fl, NY, NY 10001; (212) 465-8200; What's 
on offer: Features, docs, shorts, works-in-progress; 
The Scoop: One must he a member of IFP to 
screen films at the market, which caters to inde- 
pendent producers. 

Rotterdam Cinemart 

When: January; Where: Rotterdam, the 
Netherlands Contact: The Rotterdam Cinemart, 
PO Box 21696, 3001 AR Rotterdam, the 
Netherlands; tel: 011-31 10411 8080; fax 011 31 
10 413 5132; US Contact: IFP (see above); What's 
<m offer: Screenplays, works-in-progress, features; 
The Scoop: In 1994, the IFP began organizing U.S. 
submissions for the CineMart. Rotterdam selects 
screenwriters and makers to participate in the 
market, which prearranges meetings between 
makers and potential funders. 

MlFED 

When: November; Whelk: Milan, Italy; Contact: 
Mifed, Largo Domodossola, 1, 20145 Milan, Italy; 
tel: 011-39 2 499 7267; fax: 01 1 39 2 499 77020; 
What's on offer: TV, features, docs, shorts; Tfie 
Scoop: One of top int'l commercial markets. Fifty- 
five percent of attendees are top company execs; 
best to be represented by sales agent. 

Marche du Film 
When: May; Wliere: Cannes (held in conjunction 
with Cannes Film Festival); Contact: Danielle 
Birge, tel: 011 331-499-50269; US Contact: IFP 
(see above); What's on offer: Features, shorts, 
docs; The Scoop: The market caters to sales com- 
panies like the IFFM caters to indies. 



RAINDANCE & IFFM : 



A quick glance at the stats shows the difference in 
size and scope of the Raindance market, which 
took place last year in London, and the 
Seventeenth Annual Independent Feature Film 
Market in New York last September. 

IFFM '94 Raindance '94 



features screened 


87 


34 


shorts screened 


70 


70 


works-in-progress 


77 


12 


buyers/fest reps 






in attendence 


706* 


100* 


films selected for 






Sundance '95 


19 





volunteers 


250 


3 


receptions 


9 


1 


Screening fees: 






Features 


$375 


$300 


Shorts under 40:00 


$325 




Shorts 40-60:00 


$350 




Shorts under 15:00 




$75 


Shorts 15-30:00 




$100 


Works-in-progress 


$325 


$175 


Scripts 


$250 





Total number overseas and domestic reps 

* Estimate of reps/buyers attending 1 + screenings 





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March 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 37 



On The 
Waterfront 

THE HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL 
FILM FESTIVAL 



By Laurel Berger 



n certain days in Eastern Long 
Island, the confluence of land 
and light reminds me of a 
Tarkovsky film. I'm thinking of 
the houses that squat unnatu- 
rally in the middle of cleared 
fields, illuminated by a brilliant 
storm of light. Of days when 
the gunmetal sky threatens to 





r Bjorn Egeli's Unconditional Love snagged the 
Golden Starfish Award for "excellence in concept and 
execution despite budget limitations." 

Courtesy filmmaker 



rain, but doesn't, and the sighing noise of wind 
and insects rising up from the wheat fields, indis- 
cernible at first, becomes louder than your own 
breath. 

Tarkovsky wasn't on the program of the second 
Hamptons International Film Festival, held 
October 19 to 23, but the tenor of the annual 
event was dominated by an arthouse crowd and 
not, as the location might lead one to suppose, by 
their Hollywood counterparts (many of whom 
have second homes out here). For some industry 
denizens, the festival was a convenient excuse for 
a mid-week visit. Representatives from Miramax, 
Samuel Goldwyn, and 
Arrow Entertainment 
were glimpsed around 
and about the streets of 
Easthampton, a fashion- 
able beach-front town 
about a three-hour drive 
east of Manhattan. 
But the festival also 
attracted abundant "gen- 
eral" audiences and a fair 
amount of press. Nudged, 
perhaps, by last year's 
media hype, ticket sales 
were up 40 percent this 
year, as was corporate 
sponsorship. Some 

20,000 viewers packed 
into the United Artists 
Theatres on East- 
hampton's Main Street. 
To gain entry, however, 
one had to cross a picket 
line of union projection- 
ists. They were there to 
protest UA's imminent 
lay-off scheme, and they 
did so with almost court- 
ly grace. 
Forty-eight internation- 




al features (75 percent looking to attract a distrib- 
utor) were the main focus of a lively program that 
also included shorts (programmed thematically), 
student films, a tribute to Hamptons resident 
Robert Benton, and seminars. Of the latter, the 
most interesting were "New York, New Film" 
(panelists included Spanking the Monkey producer 
Dean Silvers and Barcelona director Whit 
Stillman) and "Documentary Filmmaking," deftly 
moderated by Stephen SchifT, critic-at-large for 
the New Yorker. 

This year, festival director Darryl Macdonald 
had plenty of quality independent features to con- 
sider. A few years ago, "maybe only two or three 
talents would emerge each year, but that isn't the 
case anymore," says Macdonald, a man with a 
warm, straightforward demeanor, who also 
cofounded the Seattle Film Festival. "I didn't have 
to struggle to find that number of good films from 
new independent directors." But he did have 
another kind of struggle. 



OR THE MOST PART, THIS SEC- 
OND EDITION OF THE 
Hamptons International Film 
Festival was a smooth opera- 
tion, discounting a few minor 
glitches. By noon the first day, 
the box office, a stuffy narrow 
storefront teeming with 
polite, yet maddeningly uninformed volunteers, 
had acquired a kind of purgatorial air. This was 
where all non-VIPs — i.e., student competitors, 
makers of shorts, journalists (all 150 of us), and 




38 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



industry representatives — languished in limbo 
upon arrival. 

Critics turned indignant when they discovered 
that no tickets were left for the opening night 
world premiere of Bob Balaban's The Last Good 
Time, a Samuel Goldwyn acquisition with Armin 
Mueller-Stahl and Maureen Stapleton that will be 
released this spring. Nor were there any tickets for 
the opening night gala; indeed, no tickets were left 
for anything but the festival's most obscure films. 
This situation was rectified when the organizers, 
puzzled by the number of empty seats on opening 
day, realized the problem was computer-generated. 

By opening night the festival apparatus was 
running considerably more smoothly. Balaban's 
The Last Good Time, about the intersecting lives of 
a lonely widowed violinist and his former upstairs 
neighbor, a street-tough babe with an abusive 
boyff iend, won the Golden Arrow Award for most 
popular film and best director. 

Although five other world premieres were 
among the pickings, the most talked-about films 
were ones that had already been on the festival 
circuit. Highlights included Dorota Ked- 
zierzawska's Crows (Poland), He Ping's Red 



Festival director 

Macdonald maintains 

that the laid-back 

atmosphere, where you 

can gauge audience 

reaction, is subtly 

conducive to 

deal-making. 



Firecracker, Green Firecracker (China/Hong Kong) , 
and Jyll Johnstone's Martha and Ethel (USA), 
which took the Golden Arrow for best documen- 
tary and played to sold-out theaters. (Picked up by 
Sony Picture Classics at Sundance last year, it 
opened theatrically in New York, Chicago, and 
L.A. last month.) 

"Martha and Ethel isn't the kind of film you can 
actually sell," says Johnstone. "It's a real word-of- 
mouth picture about two nannies, two families, 
and life in general. And the Hamptons is a word- 
of-mouth festival, so we were well-matched." 

In fact, the atmosphere was decidedly soft- 
sell — perhaps too soft for certain tastes. Instead of 
the endless parties and receptions that dominated 
last year's festival, the organizers decided to limit 



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the kihbitzing to a 
filmmakers' break- 
fast and opening- 
and closing-night 
galas. Part of the 
reason was to molli- 
fy the local restau- 
ranteurs, who 

jumped on the festi- 
val gravy train by 
providing specially 
priced "quick" 

meals. The draw- 
back was that since 
there was no main 
gathering place, it 
was sometimes 
tough to locate peo- 
ple. Although a 
guest list was avail- 
able upon request, 
phone numbers 
were not provided 
and all messages 
had to be relayed 
through the mostly 
volunteer-run hos- 
pitality center, 
which was less than hospitable to the press. 
However, this didn't affect media coverage, with 
articles appearing in Variety, Billboard, the Long 
Island section of the New York Times, and the 
local weeklies, as well as some local cable cover- 
age, along with New York's Channel 1 1 News. 

Macdonald maintains that the laid-back 
atmosphere, where you can gauge audience reac- 
tion, is subtly conducive to deal-making. "I've 
been to festivals, like Berlin, where you've got 
industry types walking in and out of screenings," 
he says. "They'll watch half an hour and think 
they've seen the film, or else they're sitting on 
their hands because they don't want to clue in 
their competitors that they're really getting off on 
it. To my reckoning, the great thing about [the 
Hamptons] festival is that it brings audiences 
together with industry, so they can see what real- 
ly works. It's an integral event." 

Arthur Bjorn Egeli, a young, bearish-looking 
man, agreed. The producer/director/ writer of 
Unconditional Love almost wept when he won the 
juried Golden Starfish Award for "excellence in 
concept and execution despite budget limita- 
tions" — which translates into $111,000 in goods 
and services from Silvercup Studios in Astoria, 
Queens. 

"No one has expressed any interest here," he 
said, "but I just called my machine in Los Angeles 
and three distributors had left messages saying 
that they knew I was in the Hamptons and could 
I see them as soon as I got back; they couldn't 
make it because of schedule problems. So there is 




some kind of networking going on, even if it's indi- 
rect." 

Unconditional Love is a loosely autobiographical 
coming-of-age story that unfolds at an artists' 
colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Egeli 
made his debut with a horror film called Maximxul, 
starring TV's Batman veteran Adam West. "I was 
a director-for-hire," he recalls. "You can rent it at 
Blockbuster. But this is my auteur film!" 

Budding auteurs were encouraged to partic- 
ipate. Ten $2,500 scholarships for best shorts were 
awarded to graduate and undergraduate filmmak- 
ers. In many cases their themes echoed those of 
the main lineup. 

Among the U.S. feature film- 
makers — over a third of 
whom were women — social 
issues were prevalent, like 
the ones addressed in 
Gordon Erikson's and 
Heather Johnston's Scenes 
from the New World, a there- 
goes-the-neighborhood dra- 
matic comedy that evolved from a workshopped 
script; Michael Corrente's Federal Hill, set in the 
scruffy blue-collar suburb of the same name in 
Providence, Rhode Island; and Severo Perez' ...and 
the Earth Did not Swallow Him, a childhood mem- 
oir exploring the immigrant experience of 
Mexican farm workers in the 1950s. The same 
held true of British documentaries like Nick 
Broomfield's tragi-comic Tracking Down Maggje, a 



portrait of Margaret 
Thatcher, or 

Michael Apted's 
Moving the 

Mountain, which 
chronicled the stu- 
dent uprising in 
Tiananmen Square. 
Another trend was 
the number of sea- 
soned actors trying 
their hands at 
directing short 

films, albeit none 
very memorably. 
Treat Williams, 
Gregory Hines, and 
Alan Arkin headed 
the pack. 

One filmmaker who 
completely broke 
the mold (along 
with everyone's 
heart because of his 
sad tale) was RJ. 
Pesce, director of 
The Last Trail, a 
quirky little western 
that won the juried Silvercup Award for best 
American independent director, totalling $20,000 
in soundstage services. A few days into shooting, 
"I dreamed I sold my soul to the devil," Pesce 
recounted at the Filmmakers' Breakfast. "The 
next day, a representative from Turner Pictures 
knocked on my door with a contract in his hand." 
Turner later decided it wasn't their kind of film, 
and they now plan a straight-to-video release. 
Having bagged the Silvercup Award, Pesce now 
prays that a buyer will step in to rescue his film 
from video hell. 

"My only hope is to create some sort of a dis- 
tributor bu:z," he said, "which I'm going about in 
my own amateurish way. I would come back here 
in a minute, if only out of loyalty to Darryl 
Macdonald, who has treated me exceptionally well 
and has been so supportive of my particular 
plight." 

At age two, the Hamptons festival is still forg- 
ing its identity. Critical consensus is mixed; many 
are taking a wait-and-see attitude. But as Severo 
Perez notes, "At the IFFM, the distributors were 
like Elvis sightings — you thought you saw some- 
one from Fine Line, but it turned out to be some- 
one who looked like someone from Fine Line. At 
least here they're not moving targets." If the orga- 
nizers can continue to attract talent and a bit 
more industry, the Hamptons could well become a 
force to reckon with. 

Laurel Berger is a writer who lives in the Hamptons. 



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March I995 THE INDEPENDENT 41 



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By Michele Shapiro 




irst there was Ingmar 
Bergman, now there's St. 
Clair Bourne. The New 
York-based Bourne has 
produced, executive produced, written, and 
directed more than 35 documentaries, TV pro- 
grams, and educational films, including Making 
Do the Right Thing and Langston Hughes: The 
Dream Keeper. Most recently Bourne penned a 
deal with Cinetofon, a Swedish film company, for 
a new feature-film project, Exiles and Allies (120 
min., 35mm). Bourne also has received develop- 
ment funds and a commitment for partial produc- 
tion funding from the Swedish Film Institute. The 
drama is based on real events during the Vietnam 
War, when the Swedish government offered refuge 
to American war resisters and deserters as part of 
a national anti-war policy. It follows five such men 
who were treated as heroes by the Swedes until 
the end of the war, when they were abandoned by 
the government and turned to crime for survival. 
The script is now in the works, and Bourne is 
seeking additional financing both in the U.S. and 
abroad. Exiles and Allies, Sharon Kahn, Kahn &. 
Jacobs Public Relations (212) 647-1850. 

Carol Jacobsen's video and photography exhib- 
it Pom Imagery: Picturing Prostitutes was the subject 
of a national anti-censorship protest after it was 
shut down by students at the University of 
Michigan Law School in 1993. Jacobsen was rep- 
resented by the ACLU in a year-long battle to 
force the school to reinstall the exhibit she curat- 
ed, which eventually came to pass. Jacobsen 
recently completed a new documentary project, 
From One Prison... (70 min., video), about four 
women serving life sentences for murder in 
Michigan. The doc, says Jacobsen, "presents a 
powerfully political expose of the negligence of 
police, lawyers, and penal systems with regard to 
women's human and civil rights." [See "Cue & 
A," p. 44] In January, it accompanied the first 
group of clemency petitions for women prisoners 
in Michigan who killed in self defense, incidental- 
ly, an exhibition of documentary video and pho- 
tography featuring From One Prison... that took 
place last November in New York came off with- 
out a hitch. From One Prison..., 1980 Alhambra, 
Ann Arbor, MI 48103; (313) 662-0776. 



Christina Craton and Tim 
Schwab's documentary The 
Burning Barrel uses 8mm home 
movies, family snapshots, the 
prairie landscape, and advertising 
images to contemplate the decline 
of a small rural community. 
Courtesy filmmakers 




Photographer Dorothea Lange once said, "One 
should really use the camera as though tomorrow 
you'd be stricken blind." California-based docu- 
mentarian Meg Partridge did just that in her 
recently completed documentary, Dorothea 
Lange: A Visual Life (52 min., 16mm). The film 
includes interviews with the photographer, her 
family, and friends, and traces the evolution of 
Lange's images, many of which have become icons 
of American history. Dorothea Lange: A Visual Life, 
Meg Partridge, Pacific Pictures, 1400 Valley Ford 
Freestone Rd., Valley Ford, CA 94972-0305; (707) 
876-3135, fax: (707) 876-9807. 

Stephanie Wasserman's Voices from the Storm 
(57 min., video) contrasts the mainstream media's 
coverage of the Persian Gulf War against the per- 
sonal human experiences of four vets. Included in 
the doc are personal archives — photos, journals, 
letters, and personal video footage — intercut with 
interviews of the veterans at home and news 
footage. When one of the vets was asked why he 
risked threats of discipline and possible court-mar- 
tial to record their experiences at the Kuwaiti bor- 
der, he replied: "I wanted to be able to leave a 
record for my kids so they could know what hap- 
pened to me in the Gulf. God only knows what my 
boy saw on TV" Voices from the Storm, Tell Take 
Media, 1490 16th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94122; 
(415) 661-3664. 

If the feature Bom to Lose (94 min., 16mm) 
reminds one of Reservoir Dogs, it may be because 
first-time director Douglas Cawker was inspired by 
Tarantino, with whom he worked as an apprentice 
editor on Dogs. Cawker scraped together around 
$40,000 to make his drama and shot the film, 
about a drug-addicted punk rock band, the 
Spoilers, in just 13 days. All rights are currently 
available. Bom to Lose, Gwen Field or Carolyn 
Schroeder, Cine-cism Films, 2802 Forrester Dr., 



Los Angeles, CA 90064; (310) 204-2700; fax: 
(310) 204-2809. 

Filmmaker Kathy Fredricks is at work on a new 
documentary, Prescott (56-58 min., Hi8), which 
uses real estate development in her home town of 
Prescott, Arizona, to examine the effects of the 
global human population explosion. In 1994, 
Money magazine named Prescott the best place in 
America to retire. In February 1994, one of every 
three Californians leaving the state moved to 
Prescott. County population has doubled in the 
last five years and is expected to double again in 
the next three to seven. In the piece, Fredrick will 
study how population explosions in cities such as 
Prescott often lead to higher crime, lower wages, 
environmental devastation, and increased dis- 
eases, and how political and religious pressures 
prevent anyone from addressing the issues. 
Prescott, Kathy Fredricks, 9 Juniper Ct., Wildwood, 
Prescott, AZ 86301; (602) 445-3329. 

In Dallas, filmmaker Joseph F Alexandre has 
completed production on Psychotropic Overload 
(80 min., 16mm, super 8 &. Hi8), a thriller made 
specifically for the home video market. The plot 
revolves around a well-respected therapist who 
takes on an aspiring fashion photographer for a 
client. "Unlike many low-budget thrillers that rely 
heavily on cheap gore and slice and dice special 
effects," says the film's producer, writer, director, 
and editor, "Psychotropic Overload instead titillates 
on a more psychological and visceral level." 
Psychotropic Overload, JFA Films, 4151 Beltline 
Rd., ste. 124-156, Dallas, TX 75244. 

Violence: Dealing with Anger (24 min., video), 
produced by Ronald C. Meyer, Diane Evans, and 
Aiki Works, is geared to children in grades 4-6 and 
teaches them skills to use before violent reactions 
become habitual. Violence: Dealing with Anger, c/o 
Centre Communications, 1800 30th St., ste. 207, 



42 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



Boulder, CO 80301; (303) 444-1166. 

Forget the gorgeous, pre-Raphaelite style 1935 
film designed hy Max Reinhardt. Ill Met b>' 
Moonlight (127 min., 35mm) is a radical depar- 
ture from these and other visions of Shakespeare's 
timeless comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream. 
Thai novelist, composer, and director S.R 
Somtow's feature is highly urhane, full of gothic- 
punk images and stark vistas of L.A.'s seediest 
neighborhoods. Puck meets punk. Ill Met by 
Moonlight, Titania Pictures Corp., 6440 
Bellingham Ave., ste. 192, N. Hollywood, CA 
91606; ph./fax: (818) 982-9455. 

The Burning Barrel (30 min., 16mm), by 
Christina Craton and Tim Schwab, uses 8mm 
home movies, family snapshots, the prairie land- 
scape, and advertising images from the last 35 
years to contemplate the decline of a small rural 
community. The burning barrel, a fixture on most 
Dakota farms, is a 50-gallon oil drum farm owners 
use to burn garbage. Each week, say the filmmak- 
ers, they spend hours feeding direct mail appeals, 
catalogs, magazines, and product packaging into 
the fire. The film is a meditation on the personal 
and spiritual realities of a society based on con- 
sumption. The Burning Barrel, Christine Craton 
and Timothy V Schwab, First Light Films, 4007 
Willowwood, Aberdeen, SD 57401; (605) 225- 
2559; fax: (605) 225-4737. 

Two young professionals, an African American 
man and an African Carribean woman, face the 
ultimate crisis in their relationship when she 
unexpectedly becomes pregnant. That's the 
premise of Spencer Clapp's Forever and a Day (30 
min., 16mm). Says Clapp in his program notes: 
"There is unquestionably a dearth of positive 
African American iconography in contemporary 
television and film, and imagery concerning 
African Carribean culture is almost non-existent." 
This is particularly true in Connecticut, where the 
short film was shot in 1994. With a budget of 
approximately $45,000 and the support of high- 
profile types including Spike Lee and Norman 
Lear, Clapp is hoping to market the film to TV 
outlets and film festivals this year. Forever and a 
Day, Spencer Clapp, 58 South Highland St., West 
Hartford, CT 061 19; (203) 233-4532. 




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FROM ONE PRISON 

Q: Was it difficult for you to obtain access to the 
Michigan State Prison fot your project? 

A: Absolutely. The prison system is as good at keep- 
ing citizens out as people in. I've been forced to deal 
with censorship on many levels with this project. 

Q: What kinds of censorship did you encounter? 

A: Once I was granted permission to shoot in prison, 
I was forced to erase footage and told by prison offi- 
cials 1 couldn't ask about sexual assault in the prison. 
One time a ward seized my footage and sent it to the 
Department of Corrections, which didn't return it for 
several months. Also, before I completed the project, 
the State Department of Corrections demanded 
copies. The A.C.L.U. advised me not to hand them 
over without a court order. 

Q: What topics does the documentary cover? 

A: Women address abuse by prison guards and prison 
officials. They talk about rapes that took place in 
prison and sexual harrassment by the guards. They 
discuss rats and bugs in their food and nonexistent 
medical care. The abuse they're subjected to daily 
reflects the abuse they encountered from men that 
caused them to kill, or to hire someone to kill for 
them, in self defense. 




Q: How long did 
you spend video- 
taping the project? 

A: 1 began my 

research in 1989 

and started taping 

in '90. I've been 

documenting 

three women for 

five years and 

worked two years 

on this specific 

project. I'm now 

working on a 

video projection called Political Prisoner #150376 

about a woman who killed in self defense. 

Q: What attracted you to the subject matter? 

A: I was drawn to women serving life sentences for 
murder. I saw myself. I had barely survived a battered 
marriage and had to hide out for months after leaving 
my husband. 

Q: What did you learn from the women? 

A: How they are criminalized for defending them- 
selves in a system where there's no police protection 



or social support and no shelters. 

Q: The film has screened in L.A. at the Women in 
Film Foundation and at the Center for New 
Television in Chicago. What has the response been? 

A: People are drawn to the screenings for different 
reasons. Some are video artists like myself. Others are 
lawyers and social workers. There is a broad spectrum 
of professionals interested in distributing the video 
because there's so little information available now 
about what goes on in prisons. 

— Michele Shapiro 




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By Kathryn Bowser 

FESTIVAL LISTINGS DO NOT CONSTITUTE AN FIVF 
ENDORSEMENT. SINCE SOME DETAILS MAY CHANGE 
AFTER THE MAGAZINE GOES TO PRESS, WE RECOM- 
MEND THAT YOU CONTACT THE FESTIVAL FOR FUR- 
THER INFORMATION BEFORE SENDING TAPES OR 
PRINTS. DEADLINE FOR INCLUDING A CALL FOR SUB- 
MISSIONS IN THE FESTIVAL COLUMN IS THE 1ST OF 
THE MONTH TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO THE COVER DATE 
(IE: APRIL 1 FOR THE JUNE ISSUE). ALL BLURBS 
SHOULD INCLUDE: FESTIVAL DATES, CATEGORIES, 
PRIZES, ENTRY FEES, DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS, 
FORMATS, AND CONTACT INFO. TO IMPROVE OUR 
RELIABILITY AND MAKE THIS COLUMN MORE BENEFI- 
CIAL, WE ENCOURAGE ALL FILM AND VIDEOMAKERS TO 
CONTACT FIVF WITH PERSONAL FESTIVAL EXPERI- 
ENCES. 

Domestic 

BRAZEN IMAGES: WOMEN IN FILM, July, TX. 
Sponsored by Women's Media Project, fest offers pro- 
gram of best 6k most recent films 6k videos from 
women throughout world. Name reflects "program- 
ming that challenges concepts of what it means to be 
woman." Two sections: invitational, for which fest 
staff solicits & previews works & Regional Showcase, 
juried competition open to women directors from TX 
& surrounding states. Fest held at Dobie Theatre in 
Austin. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4" Deadline: May 
30. Contact: Claudia Sperber, fest dir. , or Jana 
Birchum, regional showcase coordinator, Brazen 
Images, c/o Women's Media Project, Box 49432, 
Austin, TX 78765; (512) 473-2766; fax: (512) 472- 
1043. 

BRECKENR1DGE FESTIVAL OF FILM, Sept. 14- 
17, CO. Ind. film & videomakers may submit prods 
for 15th annual edition of this fest. Cats: doc, drama, 
comedy, alternative. 1st 6k 2nd place awards given in 
each cat. Entry fee: $35. Deadline: June 30. Contact: 
Kelly Sanders, Breckenridge Festival of Film, PO Box 
718, Breckenridge, CO 80424; (303) 453-6200; fax: 
(303) 453-6292. 

BROOKLYN WATERFRONT ARTISTS CO- 
ALITION FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, May, NY. 
As part of 16th annual spring show, coalition of over 
300 NY area artists has added film & video fest. Short 
films 6k videos will be screened as part of May show 
on Red Hook Piers. Cats: drama, doc, experimental, 
animation. Formats: 16mm, 8mm, S-8, all video for- 
mats; preview on 1/2" only. Deadline: March 15. 
Contact: Gary Handel, BWAC Film Fest, PO Box 
020072, Brooklyn, NY 11202-002; (718) 858-4702. 

CANYONLANDS ALTERNATIVE FILM & 
VIDEO FESTIVAL, Apr. 7-9, UT. New fest to be 
held in Moab in southeastern Utah desert will focus 
on alternative ind. film 6k video 6k is looking for 
"quality prods not likely to find venue on the main- 
stream circuit." One-third of fest will be devoted to 
docs that represent positive change 6k solutions to 
problems. Cats: environmental/social issue docs 
(emphasis on southwestern issues/cultures); outdoor 
adventure (river running, bicycling, etc.); short 
drama; art/avant garde; children. Entries must be 
under 60 mins & completed after Jan. 1, 1990. Non- 
cash awards offered for best of fest, best regional, best 



• ehildrensrkest -etaey best- dram av best- owdoor- adven- 
ture, best college. Entry fee: $20. Formats: 16mm, 
1/2". Deadline: Apr. 1. Contact: Nicholas Brown, fest 
dir., Canyonlands Alternative Film 6k Video Festival, 
c/o Country Pumpkin Prods. L.C., 400 North 500 
West, Unit #1-8, Moab, UT 84532; (801) 259-3330. 

COLUMBIA COLLEGE INTERNATIONAL 
DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL, Apr. 21-23, IL. 
Cosponsored by International Documentary- 
Association & Columbia College, first yr for fest ded- 
icated to films "that challenge or attempt to redefine 
doc & that address any preconceptions about the 
form." Fest will incl. screenings, seminars & panel dis- 
cussions w/ filmmakers. Student entries encouraged. 
Preview formats: 16mm, Hi8, 3/4", 1/2" (NTSC, PAL, 
or SECAM); fest, these plus 16mm. No entry fee, but 
return postage required. Deadline: March 15. 
Contact: Columbia College Int'l Doc Film Festival, 
c/o Documentary Center, Columbia College, 600 S. 
Michigan, Chicago, IL 60605; (312) 663-1600 x306 
or x788. 

INTERNATIONAL LABOR FILM FESTIVAL, 

July 5-9, CA. The Labor Video Project is organizing 
fest as part of Laborfest '95. Cosponsored by ILWU, 
UFCW 101, Muscians AFM Local 6, Yerba Buena 
Center for the Arts 6k other orgs.Videos about strug- 
gles & issues of all working people in US & around 
world are important for int'l solidarity. Send video or 
3/4" tape in NTSC, PAL or Secam. If video not in 
English or Spanish, voice-over or subtitles requested. 
Will list all videos submitted to fest and info on where 
to obtain whether or not they are programmed. 
Deadline: June 1. Contact: Labor Video Project/ 
Labor Tech, Box 425584, San Francisco, CA 94142; 
(415) 255-8689; fax: (415) 695-1369; e-mai: 
lvpsf@igc.apc.org. 

JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL: INDEPENDENT 
FILMMAKERS LOOKING AT OURSELVES, 

July 20-Aug. 3, CA. Now celebrating 15th yr, fest 
showcases new ind. American Jewish-subject cinema, 
along w/ diverse selection of foreign films. Accepted 
are dramatic, doc, experimental & animated shorts & 
features about Jewish history, culture & identity. Fest 
is held at Castro Theatre in San Francisco 6k U.C. 
Theatre in Berkeley. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 
1/2"; preview on video. Deadline: March 31. Contact: 
Jewish Film Festival, 2600 Tenth St., #102, Berkeley, 
CA 94710; (510) 548-0556; fax: (510) 548-0536. 

JEWISH VIDEO COMPETITION, June, CA. 
Second annual competition which encourages ind. 
video prod. 6k interactive media on Jewish themes. 
Special new cats this yr incl. interactive media, video 
from the 1970s 6k WWII remembrances. Fest also 
presents Lindheim Award for program which "best 
explores relationship between Jews 6k other ethnic 
religious 6k political groups. Entries must have origi- 
nated on video or computer only. Awards: 1st prize 
($700); 2nd prize ($300); 3rd prize ($100). Entry 
fees: $15 (under 60 mins); $35 (over 60 mins). 
Format: 1/2". Deadline: March 21. Contact: Bill 
Chayes, Video Competition Coordinator, Judah L. 
Magnes Museum, 2911 Russell St., Berkeley, CA 
94705; (510) 549-6952. 

LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL GAY 6k 
LESBIAN FILM 6k VIDEO FESTIVAL, July, CA. 
Presented by Gay 6k Lesbian Media Coalition, fest 
programs film 6k videos by 6Vor about lesbians, gays, 




shorts, 
docs, 
experimen- 
tal 6k animat- 
ed works ac- 
cepted. Entry fees: 
$20, features over 60 

min.; $15, 30-60 min.; $10, under 30 min. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2"; preview on 1/2". Deadline: 
Apr. 1. Contact: Out On the Screen, 8455 Beverly 
Blvd., Ste. 309, Los Angeles, CA 90048; (213) 951- 
1247; fax: (213) 951-0721. 

MANDALAY LAS COLINAS FESTIVAL OF 
ARTS VIDEO ARTS EXHIBITION 6k COMPE- 
TITION, Apr. 28-30, TX. New works that are "artis- 
tic, explorational, socially conscious 6k otherwise 
provocative" of any style/genre are accepted for fest, 
which is part of annual "multi-cultural, European- 
style fest" that celebrates visual, performing 6k culi- 
nary arts. Cash prizes totalling $2,000 awarded to 4 
winners. Entries must be under 10 mins. Entry fee: 
$15. Format: 1/2". Deadline: March 21. Contact: 
Mary Evans, Video Exhibition 6k Competition coor- 
dinator, Las Colinas Festival of Arts, 2 1 5 Las Colinas 
Blvd., Mandalay Canal, ste. 400, Irving, TX 75039; 
(214) 831-1881; fax: (214) 831-1882. 

NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL MEDIA MAR- 
KET, May 25-27, CA. Now in 9th yr, annual market 
is leading US venue dedicated to nontheatrical 6k 
educational film, video 6k multimedia programs, 
bringing together ind. producers 6k educational dis- 
tributors. Held at Oakland Convention Center. More 
than 50 distributors, publishers 6k broadcasters repre- 
sented at the market specialize in school, university, 
library, health, institutional, broadcast 6k consumer 
markets. Accepted are films, videos, interactive 
media, works-in-progress, series, previously distrib- 
uted works, 6k foreign language programs. Entry fees: 
$80 per entry - ; $40 tor prods already entered in com- 
petition. Deadline: Apr. 13 (postmark); May 10 w/ 
$25 late fee. Contact: Kate Spohr, National 
Educational Media Market, 655 Thirteenth St., 
Oakland, CA 94612-1200; (510) 465-6885; fax: 
(510) 465-2835. 

NATIVE AMERICAN FILM 6k VIDEO FESTI- 
VAL, May, NY. Film 6k Video Center of the National 
Museum of the American Indian is accepting submis- 
sions for fest that showcases best new works produced 
by 6k about Native Americans 6k Native Hawaiians. 
Will feature film/video works produced since 1992 
from North, Central 6k South America 6k Hawaii. 
Deadline: March 15. Formats: 3/4" or VHS video. 
Contact: Film 6k Video Center, National Museum of 
the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Ctr., One 
Bowling Green, NY, NY 10004; (212) 823-6894; fax: 
(212) 825-8180. 

NEWARK BLACK FILM FESTIVAL, June, NJ. 
21st yr. of fest featuring films by black makers. Fest 
cosponsors Paul Robeson Awards, presented during 
fest. Formats for competition: 16mm, 3/4", 1/2" 
released since Jan. 1993. Cash awards determined by 



March 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 45 



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panel of judges. Entry form must accompany submis- 
sions. Fee: $25 per work; outside US, add $5. 
Deadline: March 27. For info, call (201) 596-6550. 

NEW YORK NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL FILM 
FESTIVAL, Apr. 7, NY. Fest was created to provide 
visibility & recognition for high school film- 6k video- 
makers 6k is entirely founded 6k run by teen students. 
Award plaques & promotional items given & each 
filmmaker receives written evaluation of work. Cats 
determined by entries received; all genres & styles 
welcome. Entry fee: $10. Formats: 16mm, super-8, 
8mm, Hi8, 3/4", 1/2". Deadline: March 6. Contact: 
New York National High School Film Festival, c/o 
Trinity School, 101 W. 91st St., NY, NY 10024; (212) 
371-6171 (Nina Kontos); (212) 289-1166 (Graham 
Campbell). 

NORTHERN LIGHTS INTERNATIONAL 
FILM FESTIVAL, Aug. 1-6, Alaska. This new int'l 
fest presents cinema art of northern regions (Alaska, 
Russian North, Lapland, northern regions of Sweden 
6k Norway, Iceland, Greenland, & northern regions 
of Canada, Japan 6k China. Accepted in both non- 
competitive 6k competitive sections are films that 
cover all aspects of life in Arctic 6k North, incl. peo- 
ple, nature, traditions 6k customs, folklore 6k crafts, 
religions 6k history, celebrations 6k problems. 
Competition cats 6k awards: docs (Best Film, Best 
Director), features (Best Film, Best Director, Best 
Actor/ Actress), educational (Best Film), animated 
(BestFilm, Best Animator). Films selected for non- 
competitive section shown in movie theatres in 
Anchorage during fest. Entries must have been shot 
no earlier than 1985. Entry fee: $100 (competition), 
$20 (noncompetitive). Formats: 16mm, 1/2" (compe- 
tition); 16mm (out of competition). Deadline: Apr. 1. 
Contact: Marina Moukhamedianova, general manag- 
er, International Audio-Visual Fund of Northern 
Peoples, 1 101-2 Cordovan St., #321, Anchorage, AK 
99501; (907) 561-3280 Gacqueline Clark); fax: (907) 
277-7925. 

ONION CITY FILM FESTIVAL, May 5-7, IL. 

Sponsored by Experimental Film Coalition, competi- 
tive fest now in 9th yr is "committed to excellence in 
exhibition of all vital 6k diverse forms of experimental 
film, to support community which produces these 
films 6k to provide information 6k access for commu- 
nity 6k general public interested in medium." Entries 
must have been completed after March 1, 1993. All 
genres of experimental film accepted. Cash prizes 
awarded. Fest dir hopes to establish "Best of Fest" 
program to screen at various media centers across 
country. Entry fee: $25 nonmembers, $20 
members/students. Formats: 16mm, S-8; preview on 
original, 3/4" 1/2". Deadline: Apr. 10. Contact: 
Johnny White, fest dir., 1467 S. Michigan Ave., 3rd 
fl., Chicago, IL 60605; (312) 986-1823. 

26th SINKING CREEK FILM 6k VIDEO FESTI- 
VAL, Nov. 7-12, TN. Oldest Southern film fest w/ 
focus on ind. media. Awards $8,000-$ 10,000 in prizes 
in all genres incl. animation, dramatic 6k music video. 
Special presentations by important mediamakers 6k 
seminars in film analysis. Program incl. area pre- 
mieres, children's matinees 6k midnight screenings. 
Held on Vanderbilt Univ. campus in Nashville. Entry 
fees: $15-$55, depending on length. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 3/4"; video. Deadline: May 12. Contact: 
Meryl Truett, exec, dir., Sinking Creek Film 6k Video 



Fest, 402 Sarratt Center, Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, 
TN 37240; (615) 322-2471; fax: (615) 343-8081. 

TAOS TALKING PICTURE FESTIVAL, Apr. 6-9, 
NM. First edition of this int'l fest for new, ind. fea- 
tures, docs 6k shorts. Program will feature 20 diverse 
programs, w/ focus points being conference on media 
literacy, Native American 6k Hispanic filmmakers, 
new film discoveries "steeped in the mystique of the 
Southwest" 6k exposition/hands-on lab for children 
6k adults illustrating history of storytelling 6k demon- 
statiing new digital/interactive technology. "Open 
Sheet" screening section invites film/video producers 
to personally screen their short works for each other 
6k public in informal cafe setting. Entries may have 
originated in any format but will be shown in 1/2"; 20- 
min. maximum, entrants must be present to show 
video; first come, first served, but fest committee will 
prescreen entries. Deadline for "Open Sheet": March 
25. Contact: Joshua Bryant, executive director/Kelly 
Clement, events director, Taos Talking Pictures 
"Open Sheet", 216M North Pueblo Rd., #216, Taos, 
NM 87571; phone/fax: (505) 751-0637; email: taos- 
film(Slaplaza.taos.nm.us. 



Foreign 

ANNECY INTERNATIONAL ANIMATED 
FILM FESTIVAL, May 30-June 4, France. One of 
world's largest 6k most celebrated showcases for ani- 
mated works. The biennial fest features large pro- 
gram, incl. official selection (w/ 1,035 films in 1993); 
official programming (15 programs in competition, 10 
programs in panorama, short fiction film programs, 
full-length feature film programs, films for TV 6k TV 
series programs, commissioned film programs); int'l 
competition for student films 6k graduation films; int'l 
film-project competition (short films, feature films, 
TV series); poster competition; retros; tributes; exhi- 
bitions; seminars; video center w/ free screening of 
films submitted to selection; open-air screenings. 
MICA film market is held during the fest. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, all video formats. Deadline: Apr. 15. 
Contact: Festival International du Film d'Animation, 
2, Blvd. du Lycee, 74013 Annecy, France; tel: 011 33 
50 57 41 72; fax: 011 33 50 67 81 95. 

FILM + ARC INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 
FOR FILM & ARCHITECTURE, Nov. 22-26, 
Austria. Second biennial fest for "thematic treatment 
of the multi-layered relations" between film 6k archi- 
tecture. Works should deal w/ cinematic explorations 
of architecure or experiments w/ spacial structures; 
historical, philosophical, social, psychological 6k 
political aspects of architecture; relations between art 
6k architecture, such as architecural sculptures, land 
art 6k installations. Film program incl. official com- 
petitive section, special screenings, retrospectives 6k 
panel discussions. About 200 films in cats of fiction, 
doc, animation, experimental will make up program. 
Entries must have been completed after Jan. 1, 1993; 
films/videos of all lengths accepted. Awards: Grand 
Prize ATS 100,000 (Austrian shillings), 3 Main Prizes 
ATS 60,000, Public Prize ATS 50,000. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, super 8, Hi8, all video formats. 
Contact: International Biennale film+arc.graz, Art 
Image, Rechbauerstrasse 38, A-8010 Graz, Austria; 
tel: 0316 84 24 87; fax: 0316 82 95 11. 



LOCARNO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL, August, Switzerland. Now in 48th yr., compet- 
itive fest has been described as "one of world's top 
half-dozen fests" w/ reputation for innovative pro- 
gramming 6k support of alternative visions from ind. 
directors. Unique open-air screenings in Piazza 
Grande, which holds 7,000. 1994 attendance was 
over 140,000. Special sections & out-of-competition 
screenings. Competition accepts 1st, 2nd 6k 3rd fic- 
tion features, art films, low-budget films, inds 6k cin- 
ema d'auteur. Must be over 60 min. European pre- 
mieres only, completed w/in previous yr. Educational, 
advertising 6k scientific films ineligible. Prizes: 
Golden Leopard (Grand Prix) 6k City of Locarno 
Grand Prize (30.000SF); Silver Leopard (Grand Prix 
de Jury) 6k 2nd Prize of City of Locarno (15,000SF); 
Bronze Leopard 6k 3rd Prize of City of Locarno 
(5.000SF), Special Jury Award (10.000SF). Films 
should be subtitled in French. Fest provides 5-day 
hospitality to director plus 1 rep of films in competi- 
tion. More than 100 buyers chosen from biggest US, 
European 6k Japanese distributors 6k TV. Format: 
35mm, 16mm. Deadline: May 1. Contact: Marco 
Muller, director, Locarno Int'l Film Fst, Via della 
Posta 6, CH-6600, Locarno, Switzerland; tel: 011 41 
93 31 02 32; fax: 011 41 93 31 74 65. 

TORONTO WORLDWIDE SHORT FILM FES- 
TIVAL, May 31 -June 4, Canada. All-shorts compet- 
itive fest is soliciting int'l entries for program. 
Purpose of fest is "to broaden people's perspective on 
short films so as to view them on an artistic 6k com- 
mercial level... to help educate 6k expose the cultur- 
ally diverse audience to the short film genre." 
Awards: Best Animated Short, Best Short Doc, Best 
Dramatic sSort, Best Short Comedy, Best 
Experimental Short. Sections of fest incl. Galas, Int'l 
Program, Visions Canada, First Nations Prods (for 
submissions from aboriginal filmmakers around 
world), Established Directors First Short 6k Award 
Winning Shorts. Entries must not exceed 40 min. 6k 
must have been produced w/in last two yrs. Entry fee: 
$8. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Deadline: Mar. 15. 
Contact: Brenda Sherwood, exec, dir., Toronto 
Worldwide Short Film Festival, 258 Wallace Avenue, 
Box 142, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6P 3M9; (416) 
533-2053; fax; (416) 532-3132. 



Errata 

The listing for the SOUTH BY SOUTH- 
WEST FILM FESTIVAL (March 8-10, TX) 
that appeared in the January /February 1995 
issue contained a typographical error. The cor- 
rect phone number for the festival is (512) 
467-7979. 

Also, the Jan/Feb listing for the YAMAGA- 
TA INT'L DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL 
(October 3-9, Japan) was incomplete. The 
additional information is as follows: Preparing 
for its fourth biennial event, the festival offers 
a competition of 15 int'l features, w/ $53,000 
in prize money dispensed by int'l jury. Previous 
winners include Barbara Kopple 6k Fred 
Wiseman. No entry fees. U.S. contact: Gordon 
Hitchens, Apt. 3W, 214 W. 85th St.. NY, NY 
10024-3914; tel 6k fax: (212) 877-6856. 




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March 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 47 




EACH ENTRY IN THE CLASSIFIEDS COLUMN HAS A 250-CHAR- 
ACTER LIMIT (INCLUDING SPACES AND PUNCTUATION) AND 
COSTS $25 PER ISSUE FOR AIVF MEMBERS; $35 FOR NON- 
MEMBERS. PLEASE INCLUDE VALID MEMBER ID NUMBER 
WHEN SUBMITTING ADVERTISEMENTS. ADS EXCEEDING THE 
REQUESTED LENGTH WILL BE EDITED. ALL ADVERTISING 
COPY SHOULD BE TYPED, DOUBLE-SPACED AND MUST BE 
ACCOMPANIED BY A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER. MAKE 
PAYABLE TO: FIVF, 625 BROADWAY, 9TH FL, NY NY 10012. TO 
PAY BY CREDIT CARD, FAX COPY TO (212) 677-8732, ATTN: 
CLASSIFIEDS. YOU MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INFO: 
CREDIT CARD TYPE (VISA/MC); CARD NUMBER; NAME ON 
CARD; EXPIRATION DATE; BILLING ADDRESS; DAYTIME 
PHONE NUMBER; AND NUMBER OF INSERTIONS. FAXES 
RECEIVED WITHOUT ALL INFORMATION WILL BE DISCARDED. 
ADVERTISERS WISHING TO RUN A CLASSIFIED MORE THAN 
ONCE MUST PAY FOR EACH INSERTION. DEADLINES ARE THE 
1ST OF EACH MONTH, TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO THE COVER 
DATE (E.G. APRIL 1 FOR THE JUNE 1995 ISSUE). 

Buy Rent Sell 

3/4" SP FIELD RECORDING SYSTEM: 3-chip 
Panasonic WV F-250 camera. Sony VO-8800 Deck 
w/ time code, cases, batts, chargers; $8,000. Call 
George Hornbein at (404) 814-0342, leave message. 

6 PLATE STEENBECK model ST 900W, w/ trim 
bin, guillotine 6k Revis splicers; $4,000. Call George 
Hornbein at (404) 814-0342, leave message. 

NEW ENGLAND FOUNDATION FOR THE 
HUMANITIES offers transcript of its 1993 nat'l 
conference, "Telling the Story: The Media, the 
Public, and American History." Historians, filmmak- 
ers 6k others explore ways in which Americans learn 
about history. Send $12.50 (MA residents add 5% 
sales tax) to: NEFH, 46 Temple PL, 4th fl., Boston, 
MA 02111. 



Distribution 

AFFABLE DISTRIBUTOR & AIVF member 
seeks quality ind. prods for exclusive worldwide dis- 
tribution. If program is accepted, we will send con- 
tract in 7 days. Send VHS w/ SASE to Chip Taylor 
Communications, 15 Spollett Dr., Deny, NH 03038. 

AQUARIUS PRODUCTIONS seeks videos on 
learning disabilities, special ed., holistic medicine 6k 
coping w/ chronic diseases, among other topics. 
Call/send videos for preview. Contact: Leslie 
Kussman, Aquarius, 35 Main St., Wayland, MA 
01778; (508)651-2963. 

ATA TRADING CORP., actively 6k successfully 



distributing ind. prods for over 50 yrs., seeks new pro- 
gramming of all types for worldwide distribution into 
all markets. Contact us at (212) 594-6460. 

CINNAMON PRODUCTIONS, 25 yrs. distribut- 
ing educational, home video 6k TV worldwide, seeks 
films/videos on social/minority concerns, human 
rights, environment, AIDS, Native Americans, drugs, 
arts. 19 Wild Rose Rd., Westport, CT 06880; (203) 
221-0613. 

ECLECTIC ENTERTAINMENT CO., worldwide 
distribution for your "cutting-edge" art house or 
mainstream feature films. Send tapes to: 8033 Sunset 
Blvd., ste. 474, Los Angeles, CA 90046; (213) 466- 
0801; fax: (213) 455-5980. 

ESTABLISHED EUROPEAN PARTNERSHIP 

attending Int'l Program Market Cannes in April seeks 
quality prods/series, all genres, for exclusive distrib. 
West Six Media Ltd., 8 Poplar Grove, London W6 
7RE; 011 44 71 603 7435; fax: (71) 602 0402. 

FANLIGHT PRODUCTIONS, distributor of 
award-winning film 6k video on disabilities, health 
care, mental health, family/social issues, etc. seeks 
new work for distribution to educational markets. 
Karen McMillen. Fanlight Productions, 47 Halifax 
St., Boston, MA 02130; (800) 937-4113. 

FREE CATALOG of ind. 6k experimental films on 
video. Call 1 (800) 797-FILM or write to: Alternative 
Filmworks, Inc., Dept. 101, PO Box 647, State 
College, PA 16804-0647. 

QUEER CINEMA WANTED by OutSpoken 
Productions (worldwide rep for Pat Rocco film 
library). Short-/medium-length film/video pieces from 
gay /lesbian POV In prod, now! TV 6k home video 
releases: We can get your work seen! Call Steve (800) 
670-9282. 

SEEKING EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS on guidance 
issues such as violence/drug prevention/parenting for 
exclusive distribution. Our aggressive marketing pro- 
duces unequaled results. Bureau For At-Risk Youth, 
645 New York Ave., Huntington, NY 11743; (800) 
99-YOUTH. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational markets. 
Educational Productions distributes videos on early 
childhood education, special ed. 6k parent ed. 
Contact: Linda Freedman, Educational Prods., 7412 
SW Beaverton, Hillsdale Hwy., Portland, OR 97225; 
(800) 950-4949. 

VARIED DIRECTIONS INT'L, distributors of 
socially important, award-winning programs on child 
abuse, health 6k women's issues, seeks select films 6k 
videos. Call Joyce at (800) 888-5236 or write: 69 Elm 
St., Camden, ME 04843; fax: (207) 236-4512. 

Freelancers 

ASSISTANT EDITOR w/ 2 years of Avid experi- 
ence wants shot at editing. Will work for low rate, 
consider relocating. Leave message at (212) 222- 
9810. 

AUDIOPERSON: Owns top audio pkg. 6k 4-wheel 
drive. Internationally experienced, sensitive, patient. 
Over 10 years experience in all aspects of audio. 
Concentrating on field work, doc 6k ENG. Call/fax 



Molly Sue Wedding (914) 271-1131. 

BETA SP cameraman w/ Sony 3-chip BVP-70/BVV- 
5SR avail, for your project. Equip, pkg, DP kit, 
Sennheiser mics., 5-passenger van. Audio engineer 
avail. 3/4" Sony offline editing system. Thomas (212) 
929-2439, (201) 667-9894. 

BETA SP LOCATION PROD: Daily or long-term. 
Also Professional Hi8, 3/4" avail. NYC-based, will 
travel. For rates 6k info, call (718) 847-4667. 

CAMERAMAN: Award-winning, sensitive, effi- 
cient. 10 yrs experience in docs 6k industrials, over- 
seas projects. Complete broadcast-quality Sony 
BVW-300A Betacam SP pkg. Rates tailored to pro- 
ject 6k budget. Can speak Japanese. Scott, Public Eye 
Prods., (212) 627-1244. 

CAMERAMAN: Owner Sony 3-chip EVW-300 
broadcast quality Hi8 pkg. NYC-based, very flexible 
rates. Will travel. Conversational French 6k Italian. 
Comprehensive background in photography 6k sculp- 
ture. More info, contact John Anderson (212) 875- 
9731. 

CAMERAPERSON w/ 16mm or S-16 Aaton pkg., 
truck, lights 6k office will shoot for your budget. 
Feature films, shorts 6k docs. Call Brendan Flynt for 
more info 6k reel at (212) 226-8417 (ph/fax). In 
Boston call (617) 599-9938. 

CAMERAWOMAN: Creatively 6k professionally 
pushes the limits of Hi8, Beta SP Canon-Ll, zoom 6k 
W/A lenses, filters, Senn. shotgun, Sony lav, fluid 
head tripod. Mainstream or warped. Eileen (718) 
963-2158. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Owner Aaton kr 16/S-16 
avail, for challenging projects at very low rates. 
Experimental, doc, narrative film experience. Kevin 
Skvorak (212) 229-8357. 

COMPOSER interested in scoring drama, comedy, 
horror, sci-fi, or fantasy features. Experienced with 
symphonic 6k electronic prod, in many musical styles. 
Creative collaborator with good instincts. Demo 
available. Call Simeon at (914) 986-9860. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ awards, tal- 
ent 6k experience. Credits incl. features, commercials, 
industrials, docs, shorts 6k music videos. Owner of 
Aaton 16mm/S-16 pkg. 35mm pkg also avail. Call for 
my reel. Bob (212) 741-2189. 

DP W/ IKEGAMI DIGITAL CAMERA, BVW 50 

or BVV5, full field Betacam SP pkg. (Arri lights, 
Vinten tripod, top quality audio, transportation). 
Network/int'l. credits; competitive rates. Fluent in 
Spanish. Hal (212) 319-0745; (201) 461-5132. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY would like to 
shoot your ind. dramatic film (short or feature- 
length). Robert Cohen has 15 years experience 6k 
many equipment connections. Salary negotiable or 
deferred for right project. Call (201) 783-5354. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY looking for 
interesting features, shorts, ind. projects, etc. Credits 
incl. features, commercials, industrials, short films, 
music videos. Aaton 16/S-16 pkg. avail. Call Abe 
(914) 783-3159. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ 15 years 



48 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



experience Nat'l Geographic, music videos, network, 
looking for right dramatic feature to shoot. Rates 
negotiable. Complete 16SR2 pkg. Zeiss lenses, video, 
HMI lighting. Fluent French. Barry (203) 854-9334. 

DP: Award-winning w/ experience, expertise &. 
attention to detail, seeks ind. prods. Docs, features, 
shorts. Great w/ people, action &. aerials. Own com- 
plete Aaton S-16/16mm pkg., video &. 35mm avail. 
Located in Utah; will travel. Jeffrey (801) 265-3444. 

DP/STEADICAM ARTIST w/ 16SR, 35BL, super- 
speed lenses, 3-chip camera & BVU 150 deck sound 
equipment, lighting, van. Passport. Certified Scuha 
diver, French, little Spanish. Features, commercials, 
music videos. Call Mick (212) 929-7728. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY: Frequent con- 
tributor to "Legal Brief" columns in The Independent 
&. other magazines, offers legal services to film ck 
video community on projects from development 
through distribution. Reasonable rates. Contact: 
Robert L. Seigel, Esq. (212) 307-7533. 

ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER: Former AIVF 
exec, director &. founding chair of ITVS has returned 
to legal practice. Have your project represented by 
lawyer w/ in-depth understanding of ind. prod., 
financing, distribution & public TV. Reasonable 
rates. Call Lawrence Sapadin (718) 768-4142. 

EXPERIENCED DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRA- 
PHY w/ Arri 16 SR pkg. 6k Mole Richardson lighting 
pkg. Seeks interesting film projects in feature or 
short-subject form. Very reasonable rates for new 
directors 6k screenwriters. (212) 737-6815; fax: 423- 
1125. 

EXPERIENCED RESEARCHER, avail, to assist 
film/video producers w/ legwork. Can help you get 
what you need done in the time frame you need it. 
Reasonable rates. Call John (718) 826-0760. 

FILM 6k VIDEO SCORING. Elaborate MIDI studio 
w/ SMPTE lock. Analog or digital mastering avail. 
Classically trained at Juilliard. Also experienced in 
jazz, latin, R6kB 6k rock. Work w/ all budgets. Call 
(718) 375-0139 for audio demo. Ask for Jerry. 

LOCATION SOUNDMAN 20 years experience w/ 
Nagra/quality mics, etc. will consider projects any- 
where, anytime. Reasonable rates for low budget 
prods 6k inds with interesting scripts. Contact Harvey 
Edwards (518) 677-5720; fax: (518) 677-3047. 

MUSIC BY COMPOSER who has scored over 7 
award-winning films. Owns 6k operates complete 
music prod, facility w/ multitrack recording 6k works 
well w/ directors 6k editors. "The music speaks for 
itself." Phil. Express (212) 727-3705. 

MUSIC OF A DIFFERENT NATURE: Surreal, 
unearthly, primordial, haunting passages. Buyout 
library of unique music to complement your creativi- 
ty w/o expense of custom compositions. Call for free 
demo tape. Windswept Studios (703) 256-3279. 

PROD. SOUND MLXER: Network credits, doc, 
features. Since 1984. Nagra, Schoeps, Wireless, 
stereo mixer 6k more. Positive attitude. Jeff (201) 
592-1260. 

RIGHTS CLEARANCE SERVICES: Don't want 
to clear the rights on your film? I'll do it for you. 
Music, audio, archival footage, artwork, stills, the 
works. MB Clearances (212) 243-1067; fax: 0627. 



STEADICAM for film 6k video. Special rates for 
inds. Call Sergei Franklin (212) 228-4254. 

SU-CITY PICTURES PRESENTS: The Screen- 
play Doctor 6k Movie Mechanic. Story editors/post- 
prod, specialists will analyze your screenplay/ treat- 
ment/ synopsis 6k evaluate your film-in-progress. 
Multimedia, advanced tech 6k interactive consulta- 
tions. Studio 6k ind. bkgd. (212) 219-9224. 

Preproduction 

AWARD-WINNING CREW, camera 6k sound, 
16mm, Hi8, avail, for docs; Aaton LTR. CP-GSMO 
Nagras. Canon L-2. Credits incl. The War Room, 
Roger & Me, Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey, Blood in 
the Face, etc. Rafferty/Stone Productions (212) 608- 
5013, (212) 505-0154. 

EXPERIENCED SCREENWRITER has sexy- 
NYC-female vampire script. Full-length. 
Commercial. Ready-to-shoot. Serious producer/film- 
maker contact: R. Kornhiser (718) 449-5194. 

FORTY ACRES AND A MULE Filmworks, Inc., is 
accepting WGA-registered, feature-length screen- 
plays. Please send script 6k script-sized SASE to: Forty 
Acres and a Mule Development, 8 St. Felix St., 
Brooklyn, NY 11217; (718) 858-9620. 

IND. PRODUCER/DIRECTOR seeks scripts by, 
for 6k about African-Americans. Send treatment or 
script to: S6kL Productions, 1 101 S. Ridgewood Ave., 
Daytona Beach, FL 32114; (904) 252-5368. 

POWERFUL, MOVING SHORT film needs dedi- 
cated producer 6k innovative cinematographer. 35- 
min. narrative, Things to Come, written by NYU hon- 
ors film student will be shot in NY 6k DC in '95. 
Please send resume 6k reels to: Pioneer Film Institute, 
PO Box 9799, Washington, DC 20016-9799. 

RUSSIA 6k C.I.S. LOCATION SERVICES: 

American company in Moscow w/ 3 yrs. exp. will 
make all arrangements for your doc. or feature. Also 
offering world's lowest prices on AVID 6k Silicon 
Graphics. Fax: 011-7095-216-8162; e-mail: moscine- 
ma(g glas.apc.org. 

P0STPR0DUCTI0N 

$10/hr VIDEO VHS EDIT SUITE: $20-3/4", $15- 
interf., incl. titles, Amiga 6k SEG. Also avail.: A6kB; 
dubs; computer; photo; Slides; audio; mixed media; 
prod./postprod.; total S-8 sound film svcs; 
editor/training. The Media Loft, 727 6th Ave. (23rd); 
(212) 924-4893. 

16MM CUTTING ROOMS: 8-plate 6k 6-plate fully 
equipped rooms, sound-transfer facilities, 24-hr. 
access. Downtown, near all subways 6k Canal St. 
Reasonable rates. (212) 925-1500. 

16MM EDITING ROOM, great location, low rates. 
Fully equipped w/ 6 plate Steenbeck, 24 hr. access, in 
East Village, safe 6k clean bldg. Daily, weekly, or 
monthly rentals. Call Su at (212) 475-7186. 

16MM SOUND MLX only $70/hr! Fully equipped 
mix studio for features, shorts, docs. Bring in your cut 
16mm tracks, walk out w/ final mix. 16mm transfers 
also avail, from 1/4" dailies, music, or SFX. (Only 
.055/ft. incl. stock.) Call Tom (201) 641-5532. 



Intensive, Hands-on 
Immersion Programs 

* Film Production 

* 311 Computer tarnation 

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* multimedia . 

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Vancouver 
Film School 

For detailed information call: 

1800-6614101 




Video Viewing 
1/2 & 3/4 Video Editing 
Video Cassette Duplication 
Film to Tape Transfers 
Slides to Tape Transfers 
16mm Projector Rental 
S-8 Processing 



Machine Cleaned, Optically Tested, & 

GUARANTEED FOR MASTERING 

3/4* Used Video Cassettes 

NEW, MAJOR BRAND VIDEO CASSETTES 
AT DISCOUNT PRICES 



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March 1993 THE INDEPENDENT 49 



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Full Sound Track Preparation & 
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Dialogue, Effects, Music Editing 
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Digital Production Recording 

Multi-Format Mixing Facility 

Interformat Sound Transfers 

Overnite T.C. Stripes & Window Dubs 

AIVF Member & Student Discount 

611 Broadway, Cable Bldg , Suite 907 H 
New York, NY 10012 

(212) 254-6694 
Fax: (212) 254-5086 



Beta SP to Beta SP 

3/4"SP interformat 

Character Generator 

Hi-8 transfers, Window dubs 

CMX EDL import &. export 

24 hour access 

With editor 
$ 55/hr 

Yourself 

$ 40/hr 
$ 300/day 
S 150/night 




1 123 Broadway. Suite 814 
New York, New York 10010 

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16MM & 35MM OPTICAL SOUND TRACKS! If 

you want "High Quality" sound for your film, you 
need a "High Quality" sound negative. Contact Mike 
Holloway, Optical Sound/Chicago Inc., 24 W. Erie, 
Chicago, II 60610; (312) 943-1771 or (708) 541- 
8488. 

3/4" OFFLINE EDIT SUITE: Sony 9800/9850 w/ 
RM 450, time code reader/generator & mixer. 24-hr. 
access, convenient SoHo location & reasonable rates. 
Daily, weekly, monthly rentals. Call (212) 431-1604. 

3/4" OFFLINE EDIT ROOM avail, for rent. $25/hr. 
Madison 6k 26th St. RM440 Controller, Sony 5850 & 
5800, 2 monitors. Flexible hrs. Kept in good repair. 
(212) 689-9047. 

3/4" SONY OFFLINE SYSTEM delivered to you 6k 
installed: 5850, 5800, RM 440, 2 monitors $500/wk., 
$l,600/mo. Delivery & installation incl. Equipment 
clean 6k professionally maintained. Thomas (212) 
929-2439; (201) 667-9894. 

3/4" SP SONY OFFLINE SYSTEM: 9850, 9800, 
450, Panasonic WJ-MX 50 EFX switcher, 6-channel 
sound mix, edit at $15 an hr. Hi8 6k VHS transfer. 
Equipment new. Deliver to you 6k install at 
$l,500/mo. Call (212) 757-5013, e-mail: 
YauC(aaol.com. 

A-RAY DELIVERS: Beta SP component online edit 
pkg. $1500/wk. Sony 3/4" off-line $500/wk. Do it 
yourself or w/ our award-winning network editors. 
(203) 544-8114; fax: (203) 544-8334. 

BRODSKY & TREADWAY: S-8 6k regular 8mm 
film-to-video masters, scene-by-scene to 1" 6k 
Betacam. By appointment only. (508) 948-7985. 

DIGITAL SOUND CUTTING RM. Sonic 
Solutions 6k Digidesign edit stations, 3/4" VTR, T.C. 
DAT, 2 6k 8 Trk analogue, CD, CD-ROM, outboard 
FX, Sample Cell, dubber, pull up/down, house sink, 
$l,000/wk. Monthly 6k daily rates avail. (212) 254- 
5086. 

EDIT AT HOME: Rent our mint condition Sony 
3/4" off-line system (5800, 5850, RM440, 2 moni- 
tors). $400/week, long term rates negotiable, one 
month minimum. Call Deborah (212) 226-2579 or 
Jane (212) 929-4795. 

NEW 3/4" SP SONY OFFLINE SYSTEM: Rent or 
deliver to you: 9850, 9800, RM450, 2 mos., $500/wk. 
Install incl. Pro Digital EFX switcher Panasonic WJ- 
MX50 optional. Hi8 to 3/4" transfer, 6-ch. sound mic 
avail. From $10/hr. Girls Make Videos (212) 757- 
5013. 

S-8 FILM-TO-VIDEO TRANSFER: To 1" Beta, 
Hi8, 3/4", VHS. Slo-mo; freeze; Toaster FX. Standard 
8; slides; 16mm. Broadcast quality. Low rates. 
Personal service. S-8 camera rental, sales 6k music 
cinematography. Landyvision (718) 768-5257. 



USE YOUR VISA OR 

MASTERCARD TO PLACE A 

CLASSIFIED AD TODAY! 

CALL (212) 473-3400 OR 

FAX (212) 677-8732. 



50 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



NOTICES ARE LISTED FREE OF CHARGE. AIVF MEMBERS & 
NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS RECEIVE FIRST PRIORITY; OTH- 
ERS ARE INCLUDED AS SPACE PERMITS. THE INDEPENDENT 
RESERVES THE RIGHT TO EDIT FOR LENGTH. DEADLINES ARE 
THE 1ST OF THE MONTH, TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO COVER DATE 
(E.G., APRIL 1 FOR JUNE ISSUE.) COMPLETE CONTACT INFOR- 
MATION (NAME, MAILING ADDRESS, AND TELEPHONE NUM- 
BERS) MUST ACCOMPANY ALL NOTICES. SEND TO: 
INDEPENDENT NOTICES, FIVF, 625 BROADWAY, NY, NY 10012. 
WE TRY TO BE AS CURRENT AS POSSIBLE W/ INFORMATION, 
BUT PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK BEFORE SUBMITTING TAPES OR 
APPLICATIONS. 

Conferences • Seminars 

DCTV offers technical workshops, incl.: Basic TV 
prod., camera seminar, S-VHS & 3/4" editing, Amiga 
titling 6k graphics, intro. to doc. Register: DCTV, 87 
Lafayette St., NY, NY 10013-4435; (212) 966-4510. 

FILM ARTS FOUNDATION offers ongoing work- 
shops & seminars, from S-8 6k 16mm film & video 
prod, to fundraising, distribution, screenwritmg, spe- 
cial effects & guest lectures. Technical workshops 
taught by professionals. Contact: FAF, 346 Ninth St., 
2nd fl., San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 552-8760; 
fax: (415) 552-0882. 

FILMMAKERS: New computer conference dedicat- 
ed to NYC area film 6k videomakers avail, on Eastnet 
BBS: (718) 767-0157. Mac & Windows users can get 
free FirstClass™ software to dial in. E-mail 
DougAbel(5 aol.com for more info. 

HARVESTWORKS in Manhattan offers classes in 
subjects ranging from audio/video synchronization to 
multimedia prod. & audio preprod. All classes (1-2 
days) held at 596 Broadway, NY, NY. To register, call: 
Annie Fergerson (212) 431-1130. 

MID-ATLANTIC REGION ARCHIVES CON- 
FERENCE (MARAC) & Oral History in Mid- 
Atlantic Region (OHMAR) are hosting annual con- 
ference, "It's About Time: Archivists 6k Oral 
Historians," in Baltimore, Apr. 20-22. For more info 
on how to register, to display local materials, or to 
rent booth space, call (410) 539-0872, x 345. 

NEWVIEW 95, marketing venue for distributors of 
ind. film/video, will be broadcast via C-ban satellite 
on March 1 to over 100 sites nationwide. NewView 
gives programmers, buyers, educators 6k curators 
vehicle to expand 6k broaden their collections to incl. 
recent work of diverse artists 6k puts them in touch w/ 
distributors whose catalogs incl. titles ranging from 
social and cultural docs to animation 6k video art. 
NewView is broadcast free. For info on site near you 
or becoming downlink site, contact: South Carolina 
Arts Commission Media Arts Center, 1800 Gervais 
St., Columbia, SC 29201 or call Mitzi Swisher, Noah 
Maiden (803) 734-8696. 

ROUSER INSTITUTE, Texas nonprofit corp., 
offers media literacy training to youth & their fami- 
lies. Workshops incl. discussions about various media 
forms, how media is planned & how media operates 
to communicate powerful messages that influence 
what we think about people & situations. For more 
info call Rhoda Cato at (512) 649-5563. 

SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE holds 



extension education classes in fine art filmmaking. 
For more info or to register, call (415) 749-5554. 

UC SANTA CRUZ EXTENSION PROGRAM 

offers certificates in graphic design 6k visual commu- 
nication. For more info or to register, call (408) 427- 
6660. 

Films • Tapes Wanted 

90's CHANNEL, embracing controversy 6k search- 
ing for programming that offers fresh approaches to 
TV, welcomes tapes for submission. Topics that have 
run on 90's Channel incl.: Racism, (Framing the 
Panthers in Black & White); Jewish/Palestinian issues 
(We Dare to Speak); sexuality issues 6k programs on 
reproductive rights. Send 3/4" tapes to: The 90's 
Channel, 2010 14th St., #209; Boulder, CO 80302; 
(303) 442-8445. 

47 GALLERIES, computer bulletin board service 
that promotes ind. artists 6k producers nationally, is 
looking for narrative, experimental, doc, animation 
6k performance films/videos to be sold on VHS 
through bulletin board systems. Send: VHS, descrip- 
tion of tapes, resume, SASE to: 47 Galleries, 2924 
Bellevue Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026. 

ART IN GENERAL seeks video works 6k guest- 
curated video programs for new monthly screening 
series. All kinds of work welcome, from experimental 
film 6k video to home videos; doc 6k activist to public 
access works. Send VHS tape (cued), resume 6k/or 
brief statement 6k SASE. For more info, call Joanna 
Spitzner (212) 219-0473. 

ART ON FILM DATABASE wants to know: Have 
you produced film, video or video disc on visual arts? 
Send info on prod, to Program for Art on Film 
Database, computer index to over 19,000 prods on 
visual arts. Interested in prods on all visual arts top- 
ics, 6k welcomes info on prods about artists of color 6k 
multicultural art projects. Send info to: Art on Film 
at Columbia University, 2875 Broadway, 2nd fl., NYC 
10025; (212) 854-9570; fax: (212) 854-9577. 

BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION seeks 
films 6k videos by black ind. makers, directors, or pro- 
ducers for "Black Vision" portion of Screen Scene, 
weekly 1/2-hr. show that previews TV lineup 6k latest 
theatrical releases. For more info, contact: Screen 
Scene, BET, 1899 Ninth St. NE, Washington, DC 
20018; (202) 636-2400. 

BLACK VIDEO PERSPECTIVE, new community 
TV prod, in Atlanta area, seeks works for/by/about 
African Americans. For more info, contact: Karen L. 
Forest (404) 231-4846. 

BRONXNET (Bronx Community Cable 
Programming Corporation), nonprofit organization 
controlling 4 access channels on Bronx Cable- TV 
System, seeks works by ind. video- 6k filmmakers for 
access airing. Bronxnet produces programs, facilitates 
6k assists community in producing 6k cablecasting 
programs for, by 6k about Bronx. Contact: Fred Weiss, 
program director, (718) 960-1180. 

CAROUSEL, series for municipal cable channels 23 
6k 49 in Chicago, seeks films/videos for children 12 
yrs 6k under, any length, any genre. Send w/ appropri- 
ate release, list of credits 6k personal info to: 




Carousel, 
c/o Screen 

Magazine, 
720 N. 
Wabash, 
Chicago, IL 
60611. Tapes 
returned if 
accompanied by 
postage. 

CATHODE CAFE seeks short video-art interstitials 
to play between alternative -music videos on Seattle's 
TCI/Viacom Channel 29, Sundays 9:30 pm. Format: 
3/4" preferred; 1/2" OK. Contact: Stan LePard, 2700 
Aiki Ave. SW #305, Seattle, WA 981 16; (206) 937- 
2353. 

CINCINNATI ARTISTS' GROUP EFFORT 

seeks proposals for exhibitions, performances 6k 
audio/video/film works to show in their galleries. 
Experimental, traditional 6k collaborative projects 
encouraged. Contact: CAGE, 344 W. 4th St., 
Cincinnati, OH 55202; (513) 381-2437. 

CINEMA VIDEO, monthly showcase of works by 
ind. video- 6k filmmakers, seeks S-VHS or VHS sub- 
missions of any style, content, or length. Utilizing 
high-end projector, selected videos are projected onto 
10.5' x 14' screen. Monthly shows are collections of 
several artists' videos, but occasionally features are 
shown as special events when work merits it. Cinema 
Video is prod, of Velvet Elvis Arts Lounge Theater in 
Seattle, WA, non-profit fringe theater. Send submis- 
sions to: Kevin Picolet, 2207 E. Republican, Seattle, 
WA98112; (206) 323-3307. 

CINEQUEST, weekly, half-hour TV series profiling 
best of ind. cinema 6k video from US 6k around world, 
looking for films/videos less than 20 min. to air on 30 
-min. cable show. Work over 20 min. will air on 
monthly special in Orlando, FL market during prime- 
time. Seeking all genres. Concept of show is to stretch 
perceptions of conventional TV 6k expose viewers to 
scope 6k talent of inds. Submit on 1/2" or 3/4" video. 
Submissions need not be recent. No submission limit 
or deadline. Will acknowledge receipt in 10 days. 
Send pre-paid mailer if need work returned. Contact: 
Michael D. McGowan, producer, Cinequest Prods, 
2550 Alafayia Trail, Apt. 8100, Orlando, FL 32826; 
(407) 658-4865. 

CINETECA DE CINE ACCION seeks film 6k 
video submissions by 6k about Latinos for regular 
screening series. Fees paid. Will hold preview tape for 
3-4 mos. Formats: 16mm, 3/4", 1/2" video. Contact: 
Cine Accion, 346 9th St., San Francisco, CA 94103; 
(415) 553-8135. 

CITY TV, progressive municipal cable access chan- 
nel in Santa Monica, seeks work on seniors, disabled, 
children, Spanish-language 6k video art; any length. 
Broadcast exchanged for equip, access at state-of- 
the-art facility. Contact: Lisa Bernard, cable TV man- 
ager, City TV, 1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 
90401; (310)458-8590. 

DATABASE 6k DIRECTORY OF LATIN AMER- 
ICAN FILM 6k VIDEO organized by Int'l Media 
Resources Exchange seeks works by Latin American 
6k US Latino ind. producers. Contact: Karen 



March 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 51 



VIDEO POST PRODUCTION 



\MkM 



i 



BETACAM SP Editing & 
A/B from Hi8 or 3/4 SP 

CALL FOR LOW RATE 



3/4" A/B Roll Editing still 

$45.00/hr with editor 

Addresstrack or audio TC 

Digital Effects, Switcher, GPI, 

Hi Res, Character Generator & 

VIDEO TOASTER 4000 

Animation, 2D & 3D Graphics 



SunRize STUDIO 16 
16 bit Digital Audio Editing 



TC striping, Windowdubs, Copies 

Transfers from HI 8 & S-VHS, Dubs 

Studio & Location shoots 



Tel: 212 219-9240 
Fax: 212 966-5618 



WHEN IT COMES TO 

L«MMU 

in mi 



WE ARE 
THE EXPERTS! 




NEW YORK 

420 LEXINGTON AVENUE 

NEW YORK, N.Y. 10170-0199 

TEL: (212) 867-3550 • FAX: (212) 983-6483 

JOLYON F. STERN, President 
CAROL A. BRESSI, Vice President 



AFFILIATES IN: LONDON • PARIS • MUNICH 



Ranucci, IMRE, 124 Washington Place, NY, NY 
10014; (212)463-0108. 

DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY TV CENTER 
(DCTV) accepts 3/4" & VHS tapes for open screen- 
ings & special series w/ focus on women, youth, mul- 
timedia performance video, Middle East, gay/lesbian, 
Native American, labor 6k Asian art. Contact: 
Jocelyn Taylor, DCTV, 87 Lafayette St., NY, NY 
10013; (212) 941-1298. 

DUTV-CABLE 54, nonprofit educational access 
channel operated by Drexel University in 
Philadelphia, is looking for works by ind. producers 
for broadcast. All genres 6k lengths considered. No 
payment; will return tapes. VHS, SVHS & 3/4" 
accepted. Contact: George McCollough or Maria 
Elena Mongelli, DUTV-Cable 54, 33rd & Chestnut 
Sts., Philadelphia, PA 19104. 

DYKE TV, weekly national cable -TV show, seeks 
films & video shorts (under 10 min.). For info, call 
(212) 343-9335 or fax: 9337. 

EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY seeks 

ind. prods for nonprofit cable channel in Spokane. 
No payment. Any genre or length. S-VHS, VHS, or 
3/4". Tapes will be returned. Submit release form/let- 
ter & tapes to: Radio-Television Department , 
MS#104, Eastern Washington University, 526 5th 
St., Cheney, WA 99004-2431. 

ECOMEDIA seeks film & video works for ecological 
screening series at Blagden Alley Artscience 
Warehouse. All genres accepted; emphasis on ecolo- 
gy. Send 3/4" or VHS tape, info, or queries to: 926 N 
St., Rear, NW, Washington, DC 20001; (202) 842- 
3577. 

EN CAMINO, KRCB, seeks works of 30-60 min. in 
Spanish & English concerning Latino community. 
Formats: 3/4", 16mm. Contact: Luis Nong, Box 2638, 
Ronhert Park, CA 94928. 

EZTV seeks film/video shorts (under 20 min.) for 
L.A.-based UHF TV show. Submit 1/2" or 3/4" tapes. 
Narrative, experimental, doc. Contact: Jean Railla, 
EZTV, 8547 Santa Monica Blvd., W Hollywood, CA 
90069. 

FILMBABIES COLLECTIVE, co-op of NY-based 
writers 6k directors, seeks new members w/ short films 
for screening series (16mm, under 15 min.). 
Filmmakers must reside in NY area. For more info, 
contact: PO Box 2100, NY, NY 10025 (incl. SASE); 
(212)875-7537. 

FLIP seeks VHS copy of animation 3 min. or under 
6k/or xerox copy or original flip book for exhibition 
planned for May/June in NY. Send brief bio 6k SASE 
for return of materials by May 1 to: Flip, 163 Third 
Ave., #297, NY, NY 10003; (212) 254-2812. 

GREAT LAKES FILM & VIDEO seeks 16mm 6k 
videos for ongoing exhibition of gay/lesbian, Jewish, 
6k women's work. Experimental 6k animation are 
sought, as well as work fitting into program on aes- 
thetic/anti-aesthetic. Contact: Matt Frost or Michael 
Walsh, Great Lakes Video 6k Film, PO Box 413, 
Milwaukee, WI 53201. 

HALCYON DAYS PRODUCTIONS seeks video 
segments (1-5 min.) by 15- to 25-year-olds for video 
compilation show. If piece is selected, you may have 
chance to be video correspondent for show. Work 
may be editorial, real-life coverage, political satire, 



slapstick — you decide. Just personalize. Submit VHS 
or Hi8 (returnable w/ SASE) to: Mai Kim Holley, 
Halcyon Days Prod., c/o Hi8, 12 West End Ave., 5th 
fl., NY, NY 10023; (212) 397-7754. 

HANDI-CAPABLE IN THE MEDIA, INC., non- 
profit organization, seeks video prods on people w/ 
disabilities to air on Atlanta's Public Access TV. No 
fees. Submit VHS or 3/4" tape to: Handi-Capable in 
the Media, Inc., 2625 Piedmont Rd., ste. 56-137, 
Atlanta, GA 30324. 

END. PRODUCER who owns rights to book on 
bombing of Nagasaki in 1945, looking for collabora- 
tors 6k add'l material for multimedia project. Possible 
venues incl. exhibits in SF, NY 6k Japan honoring 
50th anniv. of event. Contact: Duncan Chinnock, 
630 9th Ave., #907, NY, NY 10036; (212) 765-0555. 

IN VISIBLE COLOURS FILM & VIDEO SOCI- 
ETY seeks videos by women of color for library col- 
lection. Work will be accessible to members, produc- 
ers, multicultural groups 6k educational institutions. 
For more info, contact: Claire Thomas, In Visible 
Colours, 119 W Pender, ste. 115, Vancouver, B.C. 
V6B1S5; (604)682-1116. 

IND. FILM & VIDEO SHOWCASE, cable access 
show, seeks student 6k ind. films 6k videos to give 
artists exposure. Send films or video in 3/4" format w/ 
paragraph about artist 6k his/her work. Send to: Box 
#1626, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, Florida 33620. 

LATINO COLLABORATIVE, bimonthly screen- 
ing series, seeks works by Latino film/videomakers. 
Honoraria paid. Send VHS preview tapes to; Latino 
Collaborative Bimonthly Screening Series, Vanessa 
Codorniu, 280 Broadway, ste. 412, NY, NY 10007; 
(212) 732-1121. 

LA PLAZA, weekly half-hour doc series produced at 
WGBH Boston for 6k about Latino community, is 
interested in acquiring original works by ind. film- 6k 
videomakers that deal w/ social 6k cultural issues con- 
cerning Latinos. Works between 25 6k 28 min. 
encouraged. Please send tapes in Beta, 3/4" or VHS 
format to: La Plaza/Acquisitions, WGBH, 125 
Western Ave., Boston, MA 02134. 

LAUREL CABLE NETWORK, nonprofit in 
Maryland, seeks variety of works of all lengths 6k gen- 
res for regular access airing in 3/4", SVHS, or VHS. 
No payment 6k tapes cannot be returned. Submit 
tape 6k release form/letter to: Laurel Cable Network, 
8103 Sandy Spring Rd., Laurel, MD 20707, Attn: 
Bob Neuman. 

METRO SHORTS, program of Metropolitan Film 
Society, seeks 35mm prints, 15 min. or less, for regu- 
lar screenings. Subject matter needs to suit audience 
that would view film w/ R rating. VHS/S-VHS pre- 
view tape would be helpful. Two-way UPS ground 
shipping costs provided. Contact: Michelle Forren, 
exec, dir., Metropolitan Film Society, 3928 River 
Walk Dr., Duluth, GA 30136-6113. 

NAT'L POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE seeks 
videos that foster strong self image of teens. All gen- 
res — art, music, etc. — on video. Send letter of per- 
mission to air. Contact: NPAL, 1626 32nd St. NW, 
ste. 270, Washington, DC 20007. 

NEW AMERICAN MAKERS, nationally recog- 
nized venue for new works by emerging 6k under-rec- 
ognized videomakers at Center for Arts in SF, seeks 



THE ASSOCIATION OF 
INDEPENDENT 



VIDEO & FILMMAKERS 



Diverse, committed, 
opinionated, and 
fiercely indepen- 
dent — these are the 
video and filmmak- 
ers who make up 
the national mem- 
bership of AIVF. 
Documentary- and features filmmak- 
ers, animators, experimentalists, dis- 
tributors, educators, students, cura- 
tors — all concerned that their work 
make a difference — find the 
Association of Independent Video 
and Filmmakers, the national service 
organisation for independent media 
producers, vital to their professional 
lives. Whether it's our magazine, The 
Independent Film &. Video Monthly, 
or the organization raising its collec- 
tive voice to advocate for important 
issues, AIVF preserves your indepen- 
dence while letting you know you're 
not alone. 

AIVF helps you save time and money 
as well. You'll find you can spend 
more of your time (and less of your 
money) on what you do best — getting 
your work made and seen. To succeed 
as an independent today, you need a 
wealth of resources, strong connec- 
tions, and the best information avail- 
able. So join with more than 5,000 
other independents who rely on AIVF 
to help them succeed. JOIN AIVF 
TODAY! 

Here's what AIVF membership 
offers: 

THE INDEPENDENT FILM & 
VIDEO MONTHLY 

Membership provides you with a 



year's subscription to The 
Independent. Thought-provoking 
features, news, and regular columns 
on business, technical, and legal mat- 
ters. Plus festival listings, funding 
deadlines, exhibition venues, and 
announcements of member activities 
and new programs and services. 
Special issues highlight regional activ- 
ity and tocus on subjects including 
media education and the new tech- 
nologies. 

FESTIVAL SERVICES 

AIVF arranges screenings for festival 
representatives, handles customs and 
group shipping of members' materials 
to foreign festivals, and publishes the 
AIVF Guide to International Film 
and Video Festivals — considered the 
definitive resource in the field. We 
also host periodic evenings with festi- 
val consultants for members to 
receive personalized counseling on 
strategy' and placement. 

ACCESS 

Membership allows you to join fellow 
AIVF members at intimate events 
featuring festival directors, producers, 
distributors, and funders. 

COMMUNITY 

We are initiating monthlv member 
get-togethers in cities across the 
country'; call the office for the one 
nearest you. Plus members are carry- 
ing on active dialogue online — creat- 
ing a "virtual community" for inde- 
pendents to share information, 
resources, and ideas. 

ADVOCACY 

Members receive periodic advocacy 



alerts, with updates on important leg- 
islative issues affecting the indepen- 
dent field and mobilization tor collec- 
tive action. 

INSURANCE 

Members are eligible to purchase dis- 
counted personal and production 
insurance plans through AIVF suppli- 
ers. A wide range of health insurance 
options are available, as well as special 
liability, EckO, and production plans 
tailored for the needs of low-budget 
mediamakers. 

TRADE DISCOUNTS 

A growing list of businesses across the 
country offer AIVF members dis- 
counts on equipment and auto 
rentals, film processing, transfers, 
editing, and other production necessi- 
ties. 

WORKSHOPS, PANELS, AND 
SEMINARS 

Members get discounts on events cov- 
ering the whole spectrum of current 
issues and concerns affecting the 
field, ranging from business and aes- 
thetic to technical and political top- 



INFORMATION 

We distribute a series of books on 
financing, funding, distribution, and 
production; members receive dis- 
counts on selected titles. AIVF's staff 
also can provide information about 
distributors, festivals, and general 
information pertinent to your needs. 
Our library houses information on 
everything from distributors to sample 
contracts to budgets. 



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MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

Individual/Student Membership 

Year's subscription to The Independent • Access to all plans and discounts • 
Festival/Distribution/Library services • Information Services • Discounted 
admission to seminars • Book discounts • Advocacy action alerts • Eligibility 
to vote and run for board of directors 

Non-profit Organizational/Business & Industry Membership 

All the above benefits, except access to insurance plans 
Representative may vote and run for board of directors 
Special mention in The Independent 



Library Subscription 

Year's subscription to The Independent only 




JOIN AIVF TODAY 




Membership Rates 


Foreign Mailing Rates 


□ $25/student (enclose copy of student ID) 

□ $45/individual 

Q $75/library subscription 

Q $ 1 00/non-profit organization 

□ $ 1 50/business & industry 


Q Surface mail 

(incl. Canada & Mexico) - Add $10 
Q Air mail 

— Canada, Mexico, Western Hemisphere- 
Add $20 


□ Magazines are mailed Second-class; add $20 for 
First class mailing 


—Europe - Add $40 

—Asia, Pacific Rim - Add $50 



Name 



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Address 

City 

State 



ZIP 



Country 

Weekday tel. 
Fax 



Acct # 



Membership cost 

Mailing costs (if applicable) 

Contribution tO FIVF (make separate tax-deductible check payable to FI\fl 

Total amount enclosed (check or money order ) 
Or please bill my □ Visa □ MC 



Exp. date I II I 



Signature_ 



Mail to AIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, NY, NY 10012. 

Or charge by phone (212) 473-3400 or by fax (212) 677-8732. 



works that challenge boundaries of creative 
video/TV Videomakers receive honorarium of 
$2/min. for tapes. Send VHS tape, $15 entry fee & 
SASE to: New American Makers, PO Box 460490, 
San Francisco, CA 94146. 

NEW CITY PRODUCTIONS seeks works-in- 
progress 6k docs on all subjects for monthly screen- 
ings. Committed to promoting ind. community by 
establishing forum of new voices. Have professional 
large screen video 6k 16mm projectors. Prefer projects 
originated on Hi8. Send cassettes to: New City Prods, 
635 Madison Ave., ste. 1101, NY, NY 10022; (212) 
753-1326. 

NEWTON TELEVISION FOUNDATION seeks 
proposals on ongoing basis from ind. producers. NTF 
is nonprofit foundation collaborating w/ ind. produc- 
ers on docs concerning contemporary issues. Past 
works have been boradcast on local 6k national pub- 
lic TV, won numerous awards 6k most are currently in 
distribution in educational market. Contact NTF for 
details: 1608 Beacon St., Waban, MA 02168; (617) 
965-8477; ntf(g tmn.com; walshntf@aol.com 

NEW TELEVISION seeks video works up to 30 
min. in any genre using medium in artistic ways. 
Screened works receive $110/min. Contact: WGBH, 
125 Western Avenue, Boston MA 02134; tel (617) 
492-2777. 

NYU TV, channel 5 1 in NYC, is offering opportuni- 
ties for inds to showcase finished films 6k videos. 
Submit materials to: Linda Noble, 26 Washington 
Place, 1st fl., NY, NY 10003. 

NYTEX PRODUCTIONS seeks video interviews 

from across US. Looking for political, entertainment, 
6k PSAs in S-VHS or VHS. Send to: NyTex Prods, 
PO Box 303, NY, NY 10101-0303, Attn: Don 
Cevaro. 

OFFLINE, hour-long, biweekly, national public- 
access show, seeks ind. 6k creative works. Submissions 
should be 3/4", SVHS or VHS 6k should not exceed 
20 min. (longer works will be considered for serializa- 
tion). For more info, contact: Greg Bowman, 203 
Pine Tree Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850; (607) 272-2613. e- 
mail : 72137. 3352(5 compuserve.com. 

ORGONE CINEMA, non-funded monthly 
film/video series, looking for handmade, nature, 
silent, random, noisy, sex, science, home, paranoid 6k 
perverse movies. All formats. Prefer VHS for preview. 
Deadline: Ongoing. Send to: Orgone Cinema 6k 
Archive, 2238 Murray Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217. 

PLANET CENTRAL TELEVISION seeks broad- 
cast-quality films, videos 6k animation censored by 
US TV as too controversial or political. Bonus con- 
siderations for submissions that are smart, funny, sexy 
6k exhibit irreverent attitude. Send tape to: Jay Levin, 
director of program acquisitions, Planet Central 
Television, 309 Santa Monica Blvd., ste. 322, Santa 
Monica, CA 90401; (310) 458-4588. 

PRESCOTT COMMUNITY ACCESS CHAN- 
NEL requests non-commercial programs for local air- 
ing. No payment, but return by post guaranteed. 
Contact: Jeff Robertson, program coordinator, 
Channel 13, PO Box 885, Prescott. AZ; (602) 445- 
0909. 

REEL TIME AT P.S.I 22, ongoing quarterly screen- 
ing series, is accepting submissions of recent ind. film 



6k video works for 1995 season. Exhibition formats 
include S-8, 16mm, 3/4" 6k VHS. Send VHS submis- 
sion tapes, written promotion 6k return postage to: 
Curator, Reel Time, PS. 122, 150 First Ave., NY, NY 
10009; (212) 477-5829 (x327). 

RIGHTS 6k WRONGS, weekly, nonprofit human 

rights global TV magazine series scheduled to resume 
broadcast in February seeks story ideas 6k footage for 
upcoming season. Last yr. 34 programs covering issues 
from China to Guatamala were produced. Contact: 
Danny Schechter or Rory O'Connor, exec, producers, 
The Global Center, 1600 Broadway, ste. 700, NY, NY 
10019; (212) 246-0202; fax: 2677. 

REBIS GALLERIES seeks works by artists working 
in video/film 6k computers. All subjects considered. 
Formats should be in VHS/Beta, 8mm, S-8, 16mm. 
For computers 3.5 disks in PC or low density Amiga 
files. Contracts to be negotiated. Contact: Rebis 
Galleries, 1930 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80210; 
(303) 698-1841. 

REGISTERED seeks experimental and non-narra- 
tive videos about consumerism and/or modern ritual 
for nationally touring screening. Send VHS for pre- 
view w/ SASE 6k short description to: Registered, 
Attn: Joe Sola, PO Box 1960, Peter Stuyvesant 
Station, 432 E. 14th St., NY, NY 10009. 

SHORT FILM 6k VIDEO: All genres, any medium, 
1:00 to 60:00 long. Unconventional, signature work 
in VHS or 3/4" for nat'l broadcast! Submit to; EDGE 
TV, 7805 Sunset Blvd., ste. 203, Los Angeles, CA 
90046. 

SHORTS SOUGHT by NYC producer 6k marketing 
co. for new TV programs being produced this spring. 
Planning cycle of 60-min. programs comprising 3-4 
thematically linked shorts, 20-min. max ea., book- 
ended by conversations w/about mediamakers. 
Submissions must have no entangling contracts 6k 
incl. synopsis, list of prior submissions, bio 6k SASE. 
Contact: Mitchell Banks, M6kL Banks, 330 Fifth 
Ave., ste. 304, NY, NY 10001; (212) 563-5944; fax: 
5949. 

SCULPTURE CENTER GALLERY invites video 
artists to submit installation concepts for new video 
program. Emerging 6k mid-career artists w/o affilia- 
tion should submit resume, narrative description, 
documentation of previous work on VHS tape, slides 
or photos, (incl. SASE) to: Sculpture Center, 167 E. 
69th St., NY, NY 10021. 

STATEN ISLAND COMMUNITY TELEVISION 
PRODUCER seeks experimental works, all subjects, 
by ind. video 6k film artists. The more explicit, the 
better; film 6k video on 3/4" preferred, but 1/2" 6k/or 
8mm acceptable. Send tapes to: Matteo Masiello, 140 
Redwood Loop, Staten Island, NY 10309. 

SUPER CAMERA, prod, of Office KEI, int'l TV 
company, seeks unique 6k never-before-seen footage. 
Areas incl. cutting edge of camera tech, footage that 
is dangerous to shoot, such as in volcanoes or under- 
water 6k events from both natural 6k physical science 
worlds. For more info, contact: Makiko Ito, Office 
KEI, 1 10 E. 42nd St., ste. 1419, NY, NY 10017; (212) 
983-7479; fax: 7591. 

THE NEWZ, half-hour, late-night comedy TV show 
based on topical news events, is actively seeking sub- 
missions. Footage will be showcased on national 



series. Formats: D2, Beta SR Beta, 3/4", SVHS, VHS, 
or Hi8. Cats: News-style stock shots (skylines, 
panoramas, local landmarks, local sports icons, etc.) 
6k comedic shots. Must include signed submissions 
release for stock footage. For info or release form, 
contact: The Newz Submission Line (407) 354-6590. 

TV POLONIA is looking for entertainment, family, 
sports, drama 6k reality programming to fill cable TV 
channel sent to Poland in English w Polish transla- 
tions. For more info, send SASE to Stefani Kelly, 
Southfield Park Tower 1 #700, 12835 E. Arapahoe 
Rd., Englewood, CO 801 12. 

UNQUOTE TELEVISION, 1/2-hr program dedi- 
cated to exposing new, innovative film 6k video 
artists, seeks ind. doc, narrative, experimental, per- 
formance works under 28 min. Reaches 10 million 
homes via program exchange nationwide. 1/2" 6k 3/4" 
dubs accepted. Submit to: Unquote TV, c/o DUTV 
33rd 6k Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 
895-2927. 

URBAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY 
ARTS is accepting video 6k 16mm film in all genres 
for next season of programming. Fee paid if accepted. 
Send VHS tape w/ SASE to: Film Committee, UICA, 
88 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Ml 49503. 

VIDEO DATA BANK seeks experimental doc 6k 
narrative tapes on women's conflicted relationships 
w/ food 6k eating. Tapes should've been produced 
after 1990, maximum length 30 min. Please submit 
preview tapes in 3/4" or VHS format 6k brief written 
statement on producer's relationship to subject mat- 
ter, no later than March 15 to: Video Data Bank. 
Unacceptable Appetites Program, 1 1 2 S. Michigan 
Ave., Chicago, IL 60603; (212) 875-4277. 

VIEWPOINTS, KQED's showcase of ind. point-of- 
view works, seeks films 6k videos expressing "strong 
statements on important subjects." Submit VHS or 
3/4" tapes (11/2 hr. length preferred) to: Greg Swartz, 
Manager of Broadcast Projects 6k Acquisitions, 
KQED, 2601 Mariposa St., San Francisco, CA 941 10; 
(415) 553-2269. 

VISION FOOD, weekly public access show in LA 6k 
NYC, seeks visually exciting pieces in all genres (art, 
music 6k film on video). Under 20 min., 1/2", 3/4" 
dubs. No payment, videos credited. Send letter of 
permission to air material 6k video to: Jack Holland, 
5432 Edgewood PL, Los Angeles, CA 90019. 

WEIRD TV, satellite TV show airing weekly on 
Telstar 302, specializes in alternative viewing. Will 
consider works of 3 min. max., animation or shorts. 
Submit work to: Weird TV, 1818 W. Victory, 
Glendale, CA 91201; (818) 637-2820. 

WORLD AFRICAN NETWORK (WAN), first 
premium cable network for people of African descent 
worldwide, is accepting submissions for 1995 launch. 
Featuring films, docs, shorts, news 6k info, children's 
programs, sports, concerts, drama series 6k sitcoms. 
Send to: Eleven Piedmont Center, ste. 620, Atlanta, 
GA 30305; (404) 365-8850; fax: 365-8350. 

WNYC-TV's New York Independents completes its 
first season at the end of April. We hope to hear 
about funding for a second season sometime in early 
summer. We would like to thank those of you who 
supported us 6k made our premiere season successful. 
We will continue to accept preview tapes (under 60 



March 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 53 



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min.) from NY film- 6k videomakers. Send VHS, 3/4" 
or Betacam preview tape, to: NY Independents, c/o 
WNYC-TV, One Centre St., rm. 1450, NY, NY 
10007. No phone calls, please. 

WOMEN OF COLOR m Media Arts Database 
seeks submissions of films & videos for database that 
incl. video filmographies, bibliographical info 6k data. 
Contact: Dorothy Thigpen, Women Make Movies, 
462 Broadway, 5th fl., NY, NY 10013. 

WYOU-TV, cable-access station in Madison, WI, 
seeks music-related videos for weekly alternative 
music show. Send 1/2" or 3/4" tapes. No payment; 
videos credited. Contact: WYOU-TV, 140 W. Gilman 
St., Madison, WI 53703. 

XTV, new, ind. cable TV channel, seeks student 6k 
ind. works from around country. For more info, call: 
OttoKhera (602)948-0381. 

Opportunities • Gigs 

ASSISTANT/ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR position 
in Video beginning in Fall 1995. Applicants should 
have Ph.D. or Masters w/ at least 3 years professional 
experience. Appls should incl. vitae 6k three letters 
of recom. Send to: Dr. Ted Schwalbe, chair, Dept. of 
Communications, McEwan Hall Room 326. SUNY 
College at Fredonia, Fredonia, NY 14063. EOE/AA. 

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, DIGITAL IMAG- 
ING (Still 6s. time -based). F/T, 1-yr., non-tenure 
track. Teach undergrads & assist dept. in learning ck 
applying technical processes of digital imaging. 
Should be professional artists w/ skills in still and 
time -based digital imaging. Working knowldge of PC, 
Mac & Amiga 6k competency in digital imaging 
processes. Univ. level teaching experience req'd. 
Deadline: April 1. Send appl. letter, resume, 3 refs, 
documentation of art work, SASE for return of appl. 
materials to: Digital Imaging Faculty Search 
Committee, Dept. of Media Studies, Syracuse Univ., 
102 Shaffer Art, Syracuse, NY 13244-1010; (315) 
443-1202; attn. Prof. John Orentlicher). 

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF VIDEO PRO- 
DUCTION & CRITICISM, Hampshire College. 
FAT, fall 1995. Prefer candidates using doc or mixed 
forms to represent oppressed minorities, or alterna- 
tives to dominant media. Critical/analytical approach 
to issues surrounding cultural prod, essential. 
Strengths in minority/3rd world representation or 
writing for or about media valued. Graduate degree 
ck/or equivalent professional exp. req. Individualized 
liberal arts instruction in innovative setting, opportu- 
nity for cross-disciplinary teaching & research. Send 
letter, vita, 3 letters of recom. to: Video Prod Search 
Committee, School of Communications ck Cognitive 
Science, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002. 
EOE/AA. Women & minorities encouraged to apply. 

BOSTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL seeks direc- 
tor & associate director to head up 1995 season of 
this wonderfully successful fest. Strong fundraising 
background is must. Send resume ck cover to: BJFF, 
c/o 9 Kelly Rd., Cambridge, MA 02138. 

DEAN, College of Arts 6k Architecture, Montana 
State University, sought. Must have terminal degree 
or excellent record to achieve; progressive record of 
successful administration in college, university, or arts 
advocacy organization. AA/EO/ADA/Veterans 



54 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



Preference. Request appl. materials from: Dean, 
Arts/Architecture Search, 250 Reid Hall, MSU, 
Bozeman, MT 59717; (406) 994-6752; fax: 1854. 

CITY COLLEGE OF NY has two positions avail. 
The first is a tenture-track lecturer in communica- 
tions (salary: $27,454-$45,499). Applicants must 
have a bachelors degree plus minimum 8 yrs experi- 
ence in installation of hardware, software &. systems 
integration/networking; departmental budget plan- 
ning; working knowledge of prod. & postprod 
film/video equipment, incl. 16mm synch-sound, non- 
linear editing systems & broadcast video. Course 
development on tech in communications, teach stu- 
dents word-processing, research, e-mail & Internet- 
related communications programs. Teach courses in 
prod, as necessary. Second position is college lab 
technician, communications (salary: $23,197- 
$36,452). Candidates must have working knowledge 
of prod. 6k postprod. Film/video equipment, incl. 
16mm synch-sound, lighting pkgs. &. nonlinear edit- 
ing systems. Minimum 4 yrs experience or combina- 
tion higher ed & experience req'd. Bachelors degree 
preferred. Deadline: March 30. For both positions, 
send resume & 3 letters of recco to: Prof. E. 
Gilmarten, chair, CFV, Dept. of Communications, 
Film & Video, City College of NY, 138th St. & 
Convent Ave., NY, NY 10031. EOE. 

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER will help inds find out- 
lets for product. Finished works only incl. films, docs, 
TV pilots &. other quality product. Please send work 
on VHS to: John Gabriel Matonti, executive produc- 
er; c/o Matonti Enterprises, Inc., 26 Lake Shore Dr., 
Montville, NJ 07045. 

FILM/VIDEO ARTS has internships avail, in NYC. 
Minimum 6-mo. commitment. In exchange for at 
least 16 hrs./wk. of work, interns receive free media 
courses, access to equipment &. postprod. facilities at 
nonprofit media arts center. Appls. must have plan 
for ind. project. Film/video knowledge helpful. 
Deadline: Ongoing. Contact: Intern Program, 
Film/Video Arts, 817 Broadway, 2nd ft., NY, NY 
10003; (212) 673-9361. 

VIDEO CAMERAWOMEN needed to work as 
stringers covering local events throughout US for 
Dyke TV, weekly NYC cable TV show. For info, call 
(212) 343-9335; fax: 9337. 

Publications 

AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM STATISTICS & 
MARKETING STRATEGIES is thorough volume 
of data of value to any African American filmmaker 
trying to raise funds. Incl. are stats on profits of black- 
directed films since 1970 & numbers for theatrical 
releases 6k home video. Send $29.95 to: Greener 
Grass Prods, 1041 W. 98th St., Chicago, IL 60643; 
(312) 779-8717. 

ANIMATION JOURNAL, peer-reviewed scholarly 
journal devoted to animation history/theory, wel- 
comes submissions. Manuscripts should be double- 
spaced, following Chicago Manual of Style. Papers are 
blind-referred, so author's name should not appear on 
body of manuscript, only on attached cover sheet. 
Send 2 copies, 1 hard (paper) copy 6k 1 copy on com- 
puter disk, preferably Mac in Microsoft Word file. 
Send SASE for returns. Deadlines: July 1 for spring 
issue. For more info, call or fax (714) 544-6255, or 
write: Dr. Maureen Furniss, editor, AJ Press, 2011 



Kingsboro Circle, Tustin, CA 92680-6733; e-mail: 
maureenCajaol.com. 

CHICAGO FILMLETTER, magazine for those into 
film/TV prod., covers both ind. 6k Hollywood on- 
location prod, in Chicago. Also contains listing of job 
opportunities, film classes 6k day-by-day calendar of 
film-related events. For more info, contact: Al Cohn, 
Chicago Filmletter, 1532 N. Milwaukee Ave., 
Chicago, IL; (312) 235-3456. 

CRITICAL CONDITIONS: ARTS CRITICISM 
IN MINNESOTA IN THE NINETIES is compre- 
hensive 92-page report 6k assessment of outlook for 
arts coverage in state. Edited by Patrice Clark Koelsch 
6k compiled 6k written by Roy M. Close, it is culmi- 
nation of two-year survey of trends in arts coverage in 
state's daily 6k weekly newspapers, magazines, elec- 
tronic media 6k elsewhere. To order, send $10 to: The 
Center for Arts Criticism, 2402 University Ave. West, 
Saint Paul, MN 551 14. For price info on bulk orders, 
call the Center at (612) 644-5501. 

DEALMAKING IN THE FILM 6k TELEVISION 
INDUSTRY provides layman's guide to hazards of 
dealmaking in Hollywood 6k "self-defense" tactics for 
filmmakers. Author Mark Litwak is entertainment 
attorney 6k advocate for ind. filmmakers. Book avail- 
able in stores Mar. 3 1 . 

FCC REPORT: Learn your rights to leased access 
time, as FCC describes them. Get report 6k order on 
rate regulations from FCC. This outlines Cable Act of 
1992 6k how it affects leased access, including: Rate 
Calculations; Filing Complaints; Resolving Disputes. 
Send $39 for your copy to: FCC Report, PO Box 
4591, Chico, CA 95927. 

GAUNTLET, Exploring Limits of Free Expression, is 
open forum on First Amendment Rights covering 
issues of pornography, racism, film censorship, media 
manipulation, prostitution, cults, sexual harassment, 
etc. For copies or more info, send SASE to: Barry 
Hoffman, editor, 309 Powell Rd., PR94A, Springfield, 
PA 19064. 

GUIDELINES TO INTERNATIONAL PROD.: 

Info on shooting overseas. Topics cover everything 
from pre- to postprod. Incl. chapters on int'l stan- 
dards 6k formats, insurance, using foreign crew, int'l 
contacts 6k tips on how to keep out of jail. Written by 
David Calderwood, experienced int'l producer, 
respected conference presenter 6k widely published 
author. Send $15 to: Euro-Pacific Prods, 703 Broad 
St., Shrewsbury, NJ 07702; (908) 530-4451. 

HOLLYWOOD SCRIPT READERS' DIGEST 

showcases outlines of avail, screenplays 6k TV series 
concepts. Regularly distributed free to hundreds of 
established TV 6k film prod, cos., ind. producers, lit 
agents, etc. For $100, will publish your screenplay 
synopsis of not more than 150 words; $200 for 251- 
300 words; $400 for 351-500 words. For TV series 
ideas, 300- word proposal costs $150; up to 400 words 
is $225; up to 500 words, $275. Send name, phone 
number, typed proposal 6k cashier's check or m.o. to: 
The HSRD, 3917 Riverside Dr., ste. 9433, Burbank, 
CA 91505; (818) 954-0425. 

INDEX ON CENSORSHIP, magazine for free 
speech, is produced 6 times/yr. in paperback format. 
Avail, by subscription. 1 yr. for $48. Send check or 
credit card info (Visa, MC, Amex) to: Index on 
Censorship, Lancaster House, 33 Islington High St., 



M M O N T H L y\f 



It Pays to Display 

Just ask our advertisers: 

"The Independent is always near the 
top of my list when I'm putting togeth- 
er my annual advertising budget. Ifs 
the best way I know to reach the inde- 
pendent film and video community." 
-Patrick Montgomery, 
President, Archive Films 

"As a non-profit, The Independent 
helps us get the most mileage out of our 
advertising budget." 

-John McGeehan, 
General Manager, Harvestwork 

Display ads start at $145. Discount for 
apply for 5- and lOx runs. 

Call Laura Davis, Advertising Director, 
at (212) 473-3400for more information. 











o 


THE 

STANDBY 
PROGRAM 




Access to broadcast quality video 
post-production for artists and inde- 
pendent producers at discounted 
rates. ♦ Services include: interformat 
editing to 1" and D2, small format 
bump-ups/transfers, Chyron character 
generator, stills from video, Paint Box 
graphics, a host of digital effects, film 
to tape transfers and more. ♦ 
Standby publishes FELIX, a Journal of 
Media Arts and Communication. Next 
issue, Landscape(s), will be released 
March '95. Subscribe! ♦ Call, write 
or fax lor more information. 

THE STANDBY PROGRAM 

P0 Box 184, Prince Street Station 

New York, NY 10012 

Phone: (212) 219-0951 

Fax: (212) 219-0563 



March 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 55 



ASSISTANT PROFESSOR in motion picture production 
to begin in August, 1995. Will teach beginning, 
intermediate and advanced 16 mm production at 
the undergraduate and graduate levels. Special- 
ition in non-fiction filmmaking, cinematography, 
lighting or animation desirable. Should be 
competent in all aspects of production and post- 
production, and be actively engaged in film 
production. MFA required. Send resume to Paul 
Lazarus, University of Miami, School of Communi- 
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London Nl 9LH. Fax subscription inquiries to: 011 
44 71 278-1878. 

JACK MACKEREL VIDEO MAGAZINE, quarter- 
ly video compilation on VHS videocassette, is accept- 
ing submissions of short films, music videos, docs, 
interviews w/ artists, erotica, computer-generated 
imagery & animation & video/film whatnot. Send 
contributions (VHS format) to Jack Mackerel Video 
Magazine, PO Box 80024, Minneapolis, MN 55408- 
8024; attn.: Greg Bachar. (Send $5 cash for sample 
volume.) 

MONEY FOR FILM & VIDEO ARTISTS, publi- 
cation listing more than 190 sources of support for 
ind. film- & videomakers, is avail, for $14.95 + s&h. 
Contact: Doug Rose, ACA Books, dept. 25, 1285 
Ave. of the Americas, 3rd fl., area M, NY, NY 10019. 

NATIONAL VIDEO RESOURCES' Strategic 
Plan, 24-page booklet on NVR's strategic planning 
process 6k results. For free copy, write or call: 
National Video Resources, Inc., 73 Spring St., ste. 
606, NY, NY 10012; (212) 274-8080. 

PROTECTING ARTISTS & THEIR WORK, 

publication of People for the American Way, answers 
questions regarding artists' rights as well as federal & 
state law. To request copy, call People for the 
American Way (202) 467-4999. 

SIX ROUTES TO FILM FINANCING, free tip 
sheet published by Hollywood Film Institute, breaks 
down 6 basic ways producers can finance films. For 
free copy, contact: Hollywood Film Institute, PO Box 
481252, Dept. 1, Los Angeles, CA 90048; (213) 933- 
3456. 

VIDEOS FOR CHANGING WORLD, new cata- 
log of multicultural &. social issue video docs. Videos 
in collection relate to common themes of building 
bridges across cultures & working for grassroots social 
change. Topics incl.: indiginous peoples, Central 
America, environmental issues, cross-cultural music 
& theater, oral history, etc. Avail, free. Contact: 
Turning Tide Prods, PO Box 864, Wendell, MA 
01379; (800) 557-6414, (508) 544-8313; fax: 7989. 

Resources • Funds 

CHICAGO RESOURCE CENTER awards grants 
to nonprofits who serve gay & lesbian community. For 
more info, contact: Chicago Resource Center, 104 S. 
Michigan Ave., ste. 1220, Chicago, IL 60603; (312) 
759-8700. 

CREATIVE SCREENWRITERS GROUP, nat'l 
organization dedicated to advancement of writing, is 
launching free service for everyone interested in 
improving their writing skills. CSG will provide assis- 
tance to anyone interested in joining writers' group in 
his/her community. CSG also provides info on how to 
form new groups. Send name, address & phone w/ 
description of writing interests & SASE to: Creative 
Screenwriters Group, 518 9th St. NE, ste. 308, 
Washington, DC 20002. 

DCTV ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE is now accepting 
appls. for $500 worth of equipment access on ongoing 
basis w/in one year. When 1 funded project is com- 
plete, DCTV will review appls. on file & select next 
project. Preference given to projects already under- 
way. For appl., send SASE to: AIR, c/o DCTV 87 
Lafayette St., NY, NY 10013-4435. 



HUMANITIES PROJECTS IN MEDIA adminis- 
tered by NEH have deadline of Sept. 1995 (specific 
day not yet avail.) for projects beginning after April 1 , 
1996. 20 copies of appl. required on or before dead- 
line. For appl., guidelines, write: National 
Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Public 
Programs, Humanities Projects in Media, rm. 420, 
1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 
20506; (202) 606-8278. 

JAPAN FOUNDATION is providing film prod, sup- 
port to experienced ind. or corp. for prod, of films, TV 
programs, or other a/v materials that further under- 
standing of Japan & Japanese culture abroad. 
Contact: Japan Foundation, 152 West 57th St., 39th 
fl., NY, NY 10019; (212) 489-0299. 

LEDIG HOUSE WRITER'S COLONY offers pub- 
lished writers & translators quiet workplace, meals, 
lodging, 6k meetings w/ other writers at Ledig House 
in Columbia County, NY. 2-month sessions 3 times/yr. 
For appl. info contact: Ledig House, ART/OMI, 55 
5th Ave., 15th fl., NY, NY 10003; (212) 206-6060. 

LOUISIANA CENTER FOR CULTURAL 
MEDIA now makes professional camera packages 6k 
cuts-only editing systems avail, free to indivs. who 
agree to produce arts 6k heritage programming regu- 
larly 6k exclusively for Cultural Cable Channel of 
New Orleans. To qualify, interested parties must be 
members of Cultural Communications ($35/yr.) 6k 
will have to produce minimum of 6 shows 6k com- 
plete at least 1 program per month. For more info, 
contact: Mark J. Sindler, Exec. Director, Cultural 
Cable Channel (504) 529-3366. 

LYN BLUMENTHAL MEMORIAL FUND FOR 
IND. VIDEO: Grants go to individuals 6k collectives 
in cats of video criticism 6k prod. Fund seeks work 
which aims to do any or all of following: test limits of 
technology; extend language of personal expression; 
question aesthetic convention; explore complex 
issues of gender, sexuality 6k cultural identity; chal- 
lenge prevailing social system. Prod grants $1,000- 
$3,000. Fund encourages projects that make inven- 
tive use of newly evolving/small-format media tech- 
nologies w/ low budgets ($6,000 or less). Deadlines: 
Criticism, March 15; Prod., Sept. 15. Potential appli- 
cants are asked to write for appl. form 6k funding 
guidelines. No phone calls accepted. Write to: Lyn 
Blumenthal Memorial Fund for Ind. Video, PO Box 
3514, Church St. Station, NY, NY 10007. 

MACDOWELL COLONY seeks film/video artists 
for residencies of up to 2 mos. at multidisciplinary 
artist community in Petersborough, NH. Deadlines: 
Apr. 15 (Sept.-Dec), Sept. 15 (Jan.-April). Ability to 
pay not factor for acceptance. Ltd. travel grants avail. 
Write or call for info, appl.: MacDowell Colony, 100 
High St., Peterborough, NH 03458; (603) 924-3886. 

MEDIA ALLIANCE assists NYC artists 6k nonprof- 
it organizations in using state-of-art equipment, post- 
prod. 6k prod, facilities at reduced rates. Contact: 
Media Alliance, c/o WNET, 356 West 58th St., NY, 
NY 10019; (212) 560-2919. 

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE 
HUMANITIES is accepting proposals to any of its 
six divisions that address any of complex topics 6k 
themes related to American pluralism 6k identity. For 
further info, deadlines 6k guidelines write to: NEH, 
rm. 406, 1 100 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, 



The Foundation for Independent Video and Film (FTVF) , the foundation affiliate of the Association 
for Independent Video and Filmmakers (AJVF), supports a variety of programs and services for the 
independent media community, including publication of The Independent, operation of the Festival 
Bureau, seminars and workshops, and an information dearing house. None of this work would be pos- 
sible without the generous support of the ATVF membership and the following organizations: 

The Center for Arts Criticism, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, John D. and Catherine T 
MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Video Resources, New York State Council on 
the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

We also wish to thank the following individuals and organizational members: 

Benefactors: Patrons: Sponsors: 

Irwin W Young Jeffrey Levy-Hinte Ralph Arryck, George C. Stoney 

Business/Industry Members: 

BKL Productions, New York, NY; Blackside Inc., Boston, MA; Burtn Mountain Films, Batesville, VA; CA. 
Productions, New York, NY; Creative Image Enterprises, Miami, FL; Fallon McEUigott, Minneapolis, MN; 
Greenwood/Cooper Home Video, Los Angeles, CA; KC Productions, Inc., Aiken, SC; KJM3 Entertainment 
Group, New York, NY; Lamp Inc., Capitan, New Mexico; Learning Seed Co, Kildeer, IL; Joseph W McCarthy, 
Brooklyn, NY; Passport Cinemas, Albany, NY; Barbara Roberts, New York, NY; Sandbank Films, Hawthorne, NY; 
Scene Tech, Plymouth, MI; Telluride Film Festival, Telluride, CO, Tribune Pictures, New York, NY; URBAN 
Productions, Glebe, Australia; Washington, Square Films, New York, NY; TV 17, Madison, AL; White Night 
Productions, San Diego, CA; WNET/13, NY, NY; Paul VanDer Grift, Princeton, NJ 

Nonprofit Members 

ACS Network Productions, Washington, DC; Alternate Current, New York, NY; American Civil Liberties 
Union, New York, NY; American Film Institute, Los Angeles, CA Ann Arbor Gimmunity Access TV Ann Arbor, 
MI; Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, MI; Appalshop, Whifiesbujg, KY; John Armstrong, Brooklyn, NY; The 
Asia Society, New York, NY; Assemblage, New York, NY; Athens Center for Film 6k Video, Athens, OH; Bennu 
Productions, Yonkers, NY; Benson Foundation, Washington, DC; Black Planet Productions, New York, NY; 
Blackside, Inc., Boston, MA; Bredcenridge Festival of Film, Breckenridge, CO; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA; 
Carved Image Productions, Newark, NY; Cente'rfor Investigative Reporting, San Francisco, CA; Center for New 
Media, New York, NY; Chicago Access Corp., Chicago, IL; Chicago Video Project, Chicago, IL; Cituma LTDA 
Film and Video Productions, Bogota, Columbia; Coe Film Associates, New York, NY; Colelli Productions, 
Columbus, OH; Columbia College, Chicago, IL; Columbus Community Cable Acess, Columbus, OH; Command 
Communications, Rye Brook, NY; Common Voice Films, New York, NY; MHCC Communication Arts, Gresham, 
OR; Community Television Network, Chicago, IL; Denver International F8m Society, Denver, CO; State Univ. of 
New York-Buffalo, Buffalo, NY; Documentary Resource Or, Lemont, PA; Duke Univ., Durham, NC; Dyke TV 
New York, NY; Eclipse Cotmiunications, Springfield, MA; Edison-Black Maria Film Festival, Jersey City, NJ; 
Educational Video Center, New York, NY; Edwards Films, Eagle Bridge, NY; Empowerment Project, Chapel Hill, 
NC; Eximus Company, Fort Lauderdale, FL; The Fikn Crew, Woodland Hills, CA; Fox Chapel High School, 
Pittsburgh, PA; Gay Men's Health Crisis, New York, NY; Great Lakes Film and Video, Milwaukee, WI; Idaho State 
Univ., Pocatello, ID; Image Fdm Video Center, .Atlanta, GA; International Cultural Programming, New York, NY; 
International Audiochrome, Rye, NY; International Fflrn Seminars, New fork, NY; rTVS, St. Paul, MN; The Jewish 
Museum, New York, NY; KbmrJex Studio Merdeka, Selangor, Malaysia; Little City Foundation/Media Arts, 
Palatine, IL; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA; Manhattan Neighborhood Network, New York, NY; 
Mesilla Valley Film Society, Mesffia, NM; Milestone Entertainment, Irving, TX; Miranda Smith Productions, 
Boulder, CO; Missoula Ounmuntry Access, Missoula MT; NAATA, San Francisco, CA; N AMAC, Oakland, CA; 
KCET National Latino Cornmunay Center, Los Angeles, CA; National Center for Film 6k Video Preservation, Los 
Angeles, CA; National \&ko Resources, New York, NY; Neighborhood FilmMdeo Project, Philadelphia, PA; 
Neon, Inc., New York, NY; New Image Productions, Las Vegas, NV; New Liberty Productions, Philadelphia, PA; 
91 1 Media Arts Center, Seattle, WA; Ohio Arts Council, Columbus, OH; Ohio Univ., Athens, OH; One Eighty 
One Productions, New York, NY; Outside in July, New York, NY; Paul Robeson FundPunding Exchange, New York, 
NY; Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, PA; Pro Vtdeographers, Morton Grove, IL; Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, 
Lincoln, NE; Medina Rich, New York NY; Ross-Gafhey, New York, NY; San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, 
CA; Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM; School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL; Scribe Video Center, 
Philadelphia, PA; Southwest Alternate Media Project, Houston, TX; Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo, NY; Strato Films, 
Hollywood, CA; SUNY/Buffab-Dept. Media Studies, Buffalo, NY; Swiss Institute, New York, NY; Terrace Films, 
Brooklyn, NY; Thurston Community TV Olympia, WA; Tucson Community Cable Corp., Tucson, AZ; Univ. of 
Southern Florida, Tampa, FL; Urriv. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI; UMAB/School of 
Social Work Media Center, Baltimore, MD; Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; USA Film Festival, Dallas, TX; 
Vancouver Film School, Vancouver, British Gilumbia; \feritas International, Elsah, IL; Video Data Bank, Chicago, 
IL; Video Pool, Winnipeg, Manitoba; View Video, New York, NY; Virginia Festival of American Film, 
Charlottesville, VA; West Hollywood Public Access, West Hollywood, CA; WNET/13, New York, NY; Women 
Make Movies, New York, NY; Yann Beauvais, Paris; York University Libraries, North York, Ontario; Zeitgeist Film, 
Tampa, FL 



March 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 57 



Media in the Schools 

-A. Special R-ejprint 

Back by popular demand: Our report on Media Literacy and Media Education in grades K-12, firk 
published in the August/September 1993 issue, has been one of the most widely requested issues of 
The Independent. Now readers can order this 24-page reprint, which answers all the basics: 

What is media literacy? How can it be integrated into the curriculum? 

How can a teacher "grade" media projects? 

Plus, profiles of innovative media education programs around the country. 

"Media in the Schools" is being distributed by the Center for Media &. Values in Los Angeles. 
Single issues: $3, plus shipping &. handling. Discounts available for bulk orders of 10 or more. 

To order: call 1-800-226-9494. 




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D.C. 20506; (800)NEH-1121. 

NY FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS awards 
Artists' Fellowships to individual NY artists. 
Applicants must be 18 year & older, resident of NY 
for at least 2 yrs. Cannot be grad or undergrad stu- 
dent, NYFA recipient of last 3 yrs, or employee or 
board member of foundation. For more info, call 
NYFA at (212) 366-6900. 

ORAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION announces 
start of awards program recognizing outstanding work 
in oral history in several cats. In 1995, award will be 
made for nonprint format prod., incl. film, video, 
radio program or series, exhibition, or drama that 
makes significant use of oral history to interpret his- 
torical subject. Deadline: April 1. For more info, 
write: Jan Dodson Barnhart, executive secretary, Oral 
History Association, Box 3968, Albuquerque, NM 
87190-3968. 

POLLOCK-KRASNER FOUNDATION gives 
financial assistance to artists of recognizable merit ck 
financial need working as mixed-media or installation 
artists. Grants awarded throughout yr., $1,000- 
$30,000. For guidelines, write: Pollock-Krasner 
Foundation, 725 Park Ave., NY, NY 10021. 

PRINCESS GRACE FOUNDATION-USA makes 
awards to thesis film students enrolled in accredited 
film programs. Please write to determine if your 
school/university is eligible to apply. Jennifer Reis, 
Director of Grants Programs, Princess Grace 
Foundation, 725 Park Ave., NY, NY 10021. 

SOUTHERN HUMANITIES MEDIA FUND 

accepting grant proposals for film/video prods of 
American South from nonprofit orgs charted in AL, 
GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA & WV Deadline: 
March 6. For appls & info, contact: Virginia 
Foundation for the Humanities 6k Public Policy, 145 
Ednam Dr., Charlottesville, VA 22903-4629; (804) 
924-3296. 

TRAVEL GRANTS FUND FOR ARTISTS makes 
grants to US artists to enhance their professional 
growth through short-term int'l experiences that 
enable them to collaborate w/ colleagues. Indiv. 
media arists should contact Arts International for 
1994 appls. & guidelines at: Arts Int'l, 809 United 
Nations Plaza, NY, NY 10017; (212) 984-5370. 

VISUAL STUDIES WORKSHOP MEDIA CEN- 
TER in Rochester, NY, accepts proposals on ongoing 
basis for its Media Access program. Artists, ind. pro- 
ducers ck nonprofits awarded access at reduced rates, 
prod, ck postprod. equipment for work on noncom- 
mercial projects. For appl., tour, or more info, call 
(716) 442-8676. 

WRITERS WORKSHOP NATIONAL SCRIP- 
WRITING CONTEST is accepting scripts from 
throughout US. 5 to 6 winners will be chosen to 
receive $500 cash award. Winners also receive free 
tuition for critical evaluation of scripts before panel of 
motion picture agents, producers, writers, ck direc- 
tors. This program continues throughout year. For 
submission info, send legal size SASE w/ 600 postage 
to: Willard Rogers, Writers Workshop National 
Contest, PO Box 69799, Los Angeles, CA 90069; 
(213) 933-9232. 



On Track Video (212)645 2040 



58 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 995 



By Martha Wallner 



This year, I'm sure, will go down as one of the most 
challenging our field has ever faced in terms of 
advocacy. At press time, there's talk of the aboli- 
tion of NEA, CPB, ITVS, and many other pro- 
grams. We stand to lose a lot of ground. 

My question is: Will we lose faith in our visions, 
too? If our institutions are weakened or destroyed, 
will we have the individual and collective strength 
to rebuild them or the imagination to create new 
structures and new ways of doing things? 

One thing is certain, networking — sharing 
information and strategies — are antidotes to 
despair and isolation. This column has been creat ; 
ed to make more visible the small and not so small 
steps that indies are taking to defend their right to 
create images and express viewpoints, many of 
which challenge the status quo, in the most pow- 
erful media of our time. It will include snapshots of 
activity spearheaded by AIVF members in various 
regions and will let you know how to get involved. 
If you have advocacy news to contribute from your 
area, let us know! 

Coalition Meets with WNET 

This past year, AIVF helped to organize the ad hoc 
Coalition of Independent Producers and Public 
Television Audiences. The New York City-based 
coalition was formed to address the lack of inde- 
pendent programming on PBS's flagship station, 



WNET/New York. In November the coalition 
sent a number of recommendations to WNET 
president, William Baker and the station's board of 
directors. 

On December 19, coalition representatives 
Ruby Lerner of AIVF and Terry Lawler of Women 
Make Movies met briefly with Mr. Baker and at 
greater length with WNET programming staff. 
The ideas discussed include: the reinstatement of 
an independent series like Independent Focus; the 
acquisition of more independent work for use 
throughout the schedule, especially on "theme" 
days; the establishment of residencies or fellow- 
ships for independents at the station; and the cre- 
ation of an advisory board made up of local inde- 
pendent producers. The coalition reps report that 
the tenor of the meeting was upbeat and another 
meeting will be scheduled in early 1995. 

Get Involved 

Board members around the country are teaming 
up with local colleagues to visit their Congres- 
sional representatives and express support for 
(media) arts funding, public television, and poli- 
cies that guarantee access to the information 
superhighway. If you would like to find out how 
to get involved in advocacy work in your area, 
contact: Martha Wallner, AIVF, 625 Broadway, 



9th fl., New 

York, NY 

10012; 

(212)473- 

3400; e-mail: 

aivffivtf" 

aol.com. 



*lt v < 



America for the NEA 

March 14 is Arts & Culture Advocacy Day. 
Americans from all walks of life will con- 
verge on Washington, DC, to speak to their 
Senators and Congressional leaders about 
the importance of the NEA. The aim of the 
newly established "America for the NEA" 
Day is to talk to every member of Congress 
and preserve federal funding for the arts. 
Congressmen Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Amo 
Houghton (R-NY) have organized the bipar- 
tisan effort. 

If you plan to join the march on the capi- 
tol, you can call (800) 862-1113 for infor- 
mation on transportation or to obtain con- 
tact infcrmation for your state coordinator. 



MEMORANDA: Continued from p. 60 

MEMBERABILIA 

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America and 
Center for Reproductive Law and Policy will cospon- 
sor the world premiere screening of Dorothy 
Fadiman's From Danger to Dignity: The Fight for Safe 
Abortion on Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at the Town 
Hall in New York City (123 W 43rd St.). Tickets can 
be purchased by calling (212) 261-4659. From Danger 
to Dignity is the second doc in a series about abortion 
coproduced with PBS affiliate KTEH-TV The first, 
When Abortion Was Illegal, was nominated for an 
Oscar and was awarded CPB's Gold Medal for 
Independent Production. 

AIVF member Rob Katz's one-hour documentary 
Roger Daltrey: The Music of the Who, which he codi- 
rected with Michael Lindsay Hogg, aired on the 
Disney Channel in January. 

Those of you who tune in to WNYC's First 
Exposure series may have seen Matt Bass's Chester 
Turmoil, about a pair of scientists who tap in to a 
young boy's dreams, last November. Bass, a film stu- 
dent at Manhattan's School of Visual Arts, also had 
his work screened at the 1994 New Orleans Film and 
Video Festival. 

Another SVA student, Nuria Olive Belles, 
recently represented the school on Bravo/Inde- 
pendent Film Channel's first student film showcase. 
Her Alicia Was Fainting, a coming-of-age film that 
won several awards at SVA's 1994 Dusty Film 
Festival, aired in the series. Eight films from other 
schools rounded out the mix. 




Several members 
have recently 

screened their 
works in New 
York. Twitch and 
Shout, a documen- 
tary about Tou- 
rette's Syndrome, 
which was pro- 
duced and direct- 
ed by Laurel 
Chiten, recently 
screened at the 
Museum of Mod- 
ern Art. Dina 
Marie Chapman 
and Tod DePree's 
Rhinoskin: The 
Making of a Movie Star screened as part of the First 
Look series, which takes place the second Tuesday of 
every month at the Tribeca Film Center. 

Henry Hills wrote to say his short film Little 
Lieutenant will be included in the short film mart at 
the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. Congrats, Henry! 

More congratulations are in order for Jeff Walker, 
whose experimental short Tall Tale was shown at the 
European Media Art Festival in Osnabriick, Germany 
and at the New Orleans Film Festival. The video was 
also a runner up in Sony's "Visions of the U.S." video 
competition. 

Boston member David Sutherland brought home 
more than bacon from the WorldFest Charleston 
International Film &. Video Festival, where he was 



Ira Deutchman, former president 
of Fine Line Features , discussed 
the current climate for indepen- 
dent makers at an AlVF-sponsored 
"Meet and Greet" session held 
last November at the AIVF offices 
in Manhattan. 
Courtesy Fine Line Features 



awarded the WorldFest Gold Award in Feature Film 
Documentary for Out of Sight. 

AIVF members are garnering grants and fellow- 
ships left and right: Alonzo Rico Speight received a 
1994 Artist Fellowship in Video from NYFA. Tod S. 
Lending and Danny Alpert, coproducers of the doc- 
umentary series No Time to Be a Child, were awarded 
$350,000 in grants from the Ford and Mac Arthur 
Foundations to begin production on the series, which 
explores issues of violence and children. The Illinois 
Arts Council (IAC) recently announced the recipi- 
ents of fiscal year 1995 Artist Fellowship Awards: 
Annette L. Barbier was a finalist in the Media Arts 
category, while Kathleen Wrobel received a $5,000 
award. Six video producers have received grants of 
$1,500 to $3,000 from the Lyn Blumenthal Memorial 
Fund, including Michael O'Reilly (A Year and a Day. 
Dad's in Jail) and Paper Tiger TV (Hot-Wiring the 
Information Highway). Nine members snagged Mid- 
Atlantic Region Media Arts Fellowship grants, 
including Diane Bonder, Michael Dennis, Robert 
Gates, Louis J. Massiah, Allen D. Moore, Frances 
Negron-Muntaner, Peter Rose, Lisa Marie Russo, 
and Margie Strosser. The grants range in size from 
$1,000 to $15,000. 

Wnen the National Black Programming Consor- 
tium announced its '94 grant recipients, AIVF mem- 
bers included Salem Mekuria, Stanley Nelson, 
Alonzo Speight, Lisanne Skyler, and Herb Avery, 
and Ada Babino. 

In Tuscon, Dave and Cyndee Wing won the Best 
Documentary Short prize at the 19th Annual 
American Indian Film Festival for Toka, about a cen- 
turies-old game played by Tohono O'odham women. 



March 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 59 




By Pamela Calvert 



fe/T7orand 



X 




UPCOMING EVENTS 

MEET & GREETS 

These are opportunities for members to meet pro- 
ducers, distributors, funders, programmers, and oth- 
ers to exchange information in an informal atmos- 
phere at the AIVF offices. Free; open to AIVF mem- 
bers only. Limited to 20 participants. RSVP required. 

NANCY GERSTMAN 

Vice President, Zeitgeist Films 

Distributor of innovative feature films, including 

Careful; Poison; and Silverlake Life. 

When: Monday, March 27, 6:30 pm 

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING 

The AIVF annual membership meeting will be held 
Friday evening, April 7, at Anthology Film Archives, 
32 Second Ave., NYC. The meeting is open to all; 
AIVF members will receive a separate notice in the 
mail. 

SEMINAR SERIES 

CLOSE-UP ON 

THE REAL FESTIVAL CIRCUIT 

This four-week series will take a close look at festivals 
throughout the U.S. and overseas. Each session will 
focus on a different type of medium, recognizing the 
variety of specialized festivals that makers can 
approach with their work. Panels will include festival 
representatives and makers, and will provide target- 
ed, specific, useful information. 

April 3: Shorts - Gunter Minas, Mannheim Film 
Festival; Robert Withers, NY Expo of Short Film and 
Video; maker tba 

April 10: Video - Marion Masone, NY Video Festival; 
Bart Weiss, Dallas Video Festival; maker tba 

April 17: Documentary - panel tba 

April 24: Narrative Features - panel tba 

At Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave., NYC. All 
programs at 6:30 pm. Panels in formation and subject 
to change. Single session: $15 members; $20 others. 
Series of 4: $50 members; $75 others. Seating limit- 
ed. Preregistration with payment required to hold 
place. 

20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION - 
FIERCELY INDEPENDENT 

The Donnell Library hosts a series of 

conversations— two makers each 

evening will show their work and talk 

about the thrills, chills, challenges, 

and triumphs of the independent life. 

Each program pairs an emerging young 




maker with one in mid-career ("still crazy after all 
these years") to compare notes and see how the field 
has developed these past two decades. 

April 27: Michel Negroponte {Jupiter's Wife) 

May 18: Isaac Julien (Looking fior Langston) and 
Karim Ainouz (Seams) 

June 8: Barbara Hammer (Nitrate Kisses) and Cheryl 
Dunye (Greetings from Africa) 

All programs at the Donnell Library Center, 20 W 53rd 
St., NYC, at 6:00 pm. Admission free and open to the 
public. No reservation necessary, but seating is limited. 
Programs May 18 and June 8 are co-sponsored by the 
New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. 

"MANY TO MANY" MONTHLY MEMBER SALONS 

This is a monthly opportunity for members to discuss 
work, meet other independents, share war stories, 
and connect with the AIVF community across the 
country. Note: as our copy deadline is two months 
before the meetings listed below, be sure to call the 
local organizers to confirm that there have been no 
last-minute changes. 

Albany, NY: 

When: March 2, April 6, 6:30 pm 
Where: Mother Earth's Cafe, Quail St. 
Contact: Mike Camoin (518) 895-5269. 

Boston: 

When: March 9, April 10, 7 pm 

Where: March: Newton Television Foundation, 1608 

Beacon St., Newtcm; April: Multi Vision, 161 Highland 

Ave., Needham Heights 

Contact: Susan Walsh (617) 965-8477 

Chicago: 

When: March 14, April II, 730 pm 

Where: Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 West LHvision 

Contact: Mark Hubert (312) 384-5533 

Dallas: 

Meeting not set at press time. 
Contact: Bart Weiss (214) 948-7300 

Denver: 

Meeting not set at press time. 

Contact: Diane Markrow (303) 989-6466 

Los Angeles: 

When: March I, April 5, 7 pm 

Where: Location TBA 

Contact: Pat Branch (310) 271-4385 

New York: 

When: March 21, April 18, 6-8 pm 
Where: Call to confirm location. 
Contact: Jennifer Lytton (212) 473-3400 

Washington, DC: 

When: March 15, April TBA, 7-9 pm 

Where: Herb's Restaurant, 16-15 Rhode Island Ave. 

NW 

Contact: Sowande Tichawonna (202) 232-0353 

MOVING FORWARD... 

Members are organizing AIVF salons in Rochester, 
NY; Austin and San Antonio, TX; Stamford, CT; San 
Diego, CA; Durham, NC; Madison, WI; Kansas City, 
MO; and Phoenix, AZ! For contact information, or 
to talk to us about starting something in your area, 
call Pam Calvert (212) 473-3400. 



CALL FOR AIVF NOMINATIONS 

It's not too soon to begin thinking about nominations for 
the A/VF board of directors. Board members are elected 
to a 3-year term of office; the board gathers four times a 
year in NYC for weekend meetings (AIVF pays the trav- 
el costs if you live elsewhere). 

We have an active board; members must be prepared 
to set aside adequate time to fulfill board responsibilities, 
which include: 

• Attendance at all board meetings and participation 
in conference calls when necessary; 

• Preparation for meetings by reading advance mate- 
rials sent by staff; 

• Active participation in one or more committees as 
determined by the organization's needs and as 
requested by the board chair or executive director; 
fulfillment of commitments within agreed-upon 
guidelines; 

• General support for the executive director and 
staff as needed. 

Board nominations must be made by current 
AIVF members in good standing; you may nominate 
yourself. Board members must be at least 19 years old. 
To make a nomination, send or fax us the name, 
address, and telephone number of the nominee and 
nominator; we cannot accept nominations over the 
phone. We will also accept nominations at the AIVF 
annual meeting on April 7. 

TRADE DISCOUNT 
UPDATES 

Success! The Los Angeles office 
of Studio Film and Tape is 
matching New York's discount 
offer to AIVF members. In addi- 
tion to offering a 5% discount on 
Kodak short-ends and recans, they will also offer a 
10% discount on new Fuji film. They are at 6674 
Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038; contact 
Carole Dean (213)466-8101. 

We also have four (!) new discounts to announce: 
In Evanston, IL, Brella Productions will offer mem- 
bers 35% off" nonlinear editing and 3D animation 
work. The address is 1840 Oak Ave., Evanston, IL 
60201; Bernadette Burke (708) 866-1884. 

In NY, Robert Seigel and Paul Rosenthal of 
Cinema Film Consulting offer members discounts 
on legal and consulting services. Address is 333 West 
52nd St., ste. 1008, NY, NY 10019; (212) 307-7533. 

In Naples, FL, DHA Production offers members 
a discounted hourly rate of $325 for their edit suite, 
a Beta SP Component Digital Sony Series 6000, with 
use of an Abekas A-65, Sony DME-500 and Chyron 
Max included. At 2375 N. Tamiami Trail, Naples, FL 
33940; George Steinhofif (813) 263-3939. 

In Miami Beach, FL and New York City, Film 
Friends offers a 30-percent discount on equipment 
rentals to members. They have an extensive range of 
camera, sound, lighting, grip, and editing equipment. 
Florida address is 4019 No. Meridian Ave., Miami 
Beach 33140; Mick Cribben (305) 532-6966; (800) 
235-2713. In New York, they are at 16 East 17th St., 
NY, NY 10003; Mike Gallaghan (212) 620-0084. 

Watch the April Independent for news of new dis- 
counts on long-distance telephone and overnight 
courier services! 

Continued on p. 59 




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To the editor: 

I was so excited to see a major story in The 
Independent about the New York Video Festival 
["Little Orphan Video: The New York Video 
Festival," January/February 1995]. There is so little 
writing about video in general and the Village Voice 
and New York Times gave the video fest only margin- 
al ink, ignoring many of the works, giving minimal 
mention to others, and offering no real sense of the 
richness and importance of independent video — both 
at the festival and in the field as a whole. I'm sure if 
Mark Rappaport's Exterior Night were shot in film 
rather than HDTV, it would have been reviewed. 

With so many independents working in video and 
so little writing about it, I thought a story in The 
Independent would be a great opportunity, but Ernest 
Larsen's rant on the festival does more of a disservice 
that anything. If this piece had been in Felix, where 
there is a broader discussion of video, it would be fine, 
but a rare review of a video festival in The Independent 
is not the place. Sure, any critic has a right and duty 
to call them as he or she sees them, but in this cur- 
rent climate some bit of good press is necessary, and 
Mr. Larsen hated everything, although he did call 
some things "interesting." 

The most perplexing part of the story was his rant 
against HDTV and interactive media. Mr. Larsen 
feels that by obtaining equipment from "corporate 
culture" the festival is selling out. Is the festival sup- 
posed to ignore new ways artists are working with 
material? Going that road, there would never be any 
video festivals, because borrowing a Sony projector is 
selling out, and any affordable equipment would sure- 
ly not be good enough for a festival showcase. 

By exhibiting how artists work with new technol- 
ogy, the festival's interactive component introduces 
audiences to something other than corporate drivel, 
and perhaps can make the industries see that people 
want to watch something other than shoot-'em-ups. 

Video is elastic; it changes much more than some 
old fogies, who can only see one way of producing and 
envisioning electronic time-based work. We need 
critical discussion of video, we need support, and, 
most of all, we need open minds. 

Bart Weiss, Director 
Dallas Video Festival, Dallas, TX 

Ernest Larsen responds: 

I suspect that Bart Weiss and I share a long-term 
commitment to improving the sorry lot of poor 
orphan video. But we only undermine our position 
the more we imagine that we can afford to dispense 
with honest criticism. Check out the largely positive 
piece I wrote for Art in America on the first New York 
Video Festival. It too is critically supportive. During 
the second festival I participated in a panel that 
explored video's relation to the press. If I'd written a 
piece that year I could have coasted by praising such 
work as Joan Braderman's Joan Sees Stars, Mindy 
Faber's Delirium, and Ellen Spiro's Greetings From Out 
Here, among others. However, Weiss's disingenuous 



recommendation that I should have piously sworn off 
this year because the videos selected weren't so very 
hot would effectively reduce The Independent to the 
status of a publicity rag. (If, on the other hand, Weiss 
wants to hire me to write some gaseous quotable 
quotes on his pick hits, I'm available.) Weiss's claim 
that "some bit of good press is necessary" confuses the 
role of the critic with the role of press agent. My arti- 
cle begins by criticizing the festival's programmers for 
being much too reticent about promoting the event 
for all it's worth. I could have made myself the apple 
of everyone's eye by doing precisely what Weiss rec- 
ommends — making nice — but instead took the pro- 
nouncedly more difficult route of taking on the man- 
ner and organization of the festival itself. 

Somehow Weiss got my point about the festival's 
HDTV and interactive programs upside-down. Am I 
saying the festival is selling out by obtaining equip- 
ment from corporationland? No. Or that the festival 
should ignore artists' use of new technology? A thou- 
sand times no, as Betty Boop used to say. But the trick 
is to get corporate culture to buy into your thing, not 
vice-versa. In my humbly open-minded view, Sony et 
al. buffaloed the programmers into spotlighting the 
tech rather than the artists. 

Finally, my piece was chock full of cranky but 
rationally argued suggestions for possible ways that 
the New York Video Festival might really come into 
its own as we'd all like it to. Therefore, much as I'd 
like to, I cannot accept Weiss's warmly reiterated 
accolade of "rant." The rant is a passionate literary 
form that relies on verbal violence to achieve its rav- 
ishing effects. While I'm not a pacifist, I do rely on 
nonviolent irony. What I like about irony is that it 
constructs a bridge across the River Kwai between 
what is and what should be. The idea is to place the 
reader in the sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes 
exciting position of acknowledging that there is a gap, 
if not a yawning abyss. Unlike your everyday ranter, I 
did not throw my hands up in disgust upon con- 
fronting the spectacle of the New York Video Festival. 
Nor did I pull a Candide and claim that this was the 
best of all possible festivals. Instead, I detailed how 
the festival might next time out give video the radical 
impact it should have. As for the videos I criticized, I 
made a point of being tough on videomakers whose 
work I admire. Surely, for example, the truly adven- 
turous work of artists like Peggy Ahwesh, Michael 
O'Reilly, and George Kuchar, to mention a few, can 
bear up under a few cross words from a critic who has 
liked their work so much more in the past. If not, we 
all ought to hang it up and start channel-surfing into 
a dismally upbeat future. 



PBS's Place 

To the editor: 

Let me make one clear point about public television. 
It has no network. There are no national broadcasts. 
PBS cannot "air" anything. I note that in Michele 
Shapiro's article about the ITVS ["ITVS Gets Serious 



Continued on p. 6 



ml 

JL M O N 




9]i v 

M N T H L 



April 1995 

VOLUME 18, NUMBER 3 

Publisher: Ruby Lerner 

Editor-in-Chief: Patricia Thomson 

Managing Editor: Michele Shapiro 

Editorial Assistant: Mitch Albert 

Contributing Editors: Kathryn Bowser, Luke Hones, 

Barbara Bliss Osborn, Catherine Saalfield, 

Robert Seigel 

Art Director: Daniel Christmas 

Advertising: Laura D. Davis (212) 473-3400 

Proofreader/Fact Checker: Cylena Simonds 

National Distribution: Bernhard DeBoer (201) 667-9300; 

Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Sheridan Press 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731- 
5198) is published monthly except February and 
September by the Foundation for Independent Video 
and Film (FIVF), a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational 
foundation dedicated to the promotion of video and 
film. Subscription to the magazine ($45/yr individual; 
$25/yr student; $75/yr library; $100/yr nonprofit orga- 
nization; $150/yr business/industry) is included in 
annual membership dues paid to the Association of 
Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the national 
trade association of individuals involved in independent 
film and video, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012, 
(212) 473-3400; fax: (212) 677-8732; aivf fivf@ 
aol.com. Second Class Postage Paid at New York, NY, 
and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send 
address changes to The Independent Film & Video 
Monthly, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012. 

Publication of The Independent is made possible in 
part with public funds from the New York State Council 
on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a 
federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement in The Independent 
does not constitute an endorsement. AIVF/FIVF are not 
responsible for any claims made in an ad. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require writ- 
ten permission and acknowledgement of the article's 
previous appearance in The Independent. The 
Independent is indexed in the Alternative Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 
1995 

AIVF/FIVF staff members: Ruby Lerner, executive direc- 
tor; Pamela Calvert, director of programs and services; 
Judah Friedlander, membership associate; Susan 
Kennedy, development director; Jennifer Lytton, pro- 
gram associate; John McNair, information services asso- 
ciate; Martha Wallner, advocacy coordinator; Arsenio 
Assin, receptionist; Alison Mark, intern. 

AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert I. Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Joe Berlinger, Melissa 
Burch, Loni Ding (vice president), Barbara Hammer, 
Ruby Lerner (ex officio), James Klein (treasurer), Diane 
Markrow, Beni Matias, Robb Moss, Robert Richter 
(president), James Schamus*, Norman Wang*, Barton 
Weiss (secretary), Debra Zimmerman (chair). 
* FIVF Board of Directors only 



2 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 995 




Features 

28 Reel Women: Feminism and Narrative Pleasure in 

NeW WOmen'S Cinema BY LAURIE OUELLETTE In the seventies, feminist film 
theorists espoused a deep mistrust of Hollywood movies' traditional narrative structure, 
realist aesthetics, and happy endings. Today, many women directors are freely making use 
of these conventions. Are they caving in to market pressures, or finding a different 
path, one unforeseen two decades ago? 



15 Talking Heads 

James Gray, writer/ 
director: Little Odessa 

By Patricia Thomson 

Jem Cohen, film/video 
artist: Buried in Light 

By Steve Dollar 

Patricia Smith & Kurt 
Heintz, video poets: 
Chinese Cucumbers 

By George Fifield 

Lourdes Portillo, 
filmmaker: The Devil 
Never Sleeps 

By Andrew Thompson 

Deborah Dennison, 
director/producer: 
Blood Memory 

By Rosemary Zibart 

23 Wired Blue Yonder 

Real Estate as Art: 
CD-ROM Artist 
Nancy Buchanan 

By Julia Meltzer 

Infobahn Greenbacks and 
the Invisible Arts 

By Barbara Osborn 

Video Service Bureaus of 
the Future 

By George Fifield 



2 Letters 
1 Media News 

It's Showtime! Sundance 
Film Channel Gives Cable 
Competitors a Run for the 
Money 

By Michele Shapiro & 
Ingalisa Schrobsdorff 

NVR Offers Discounts on 
Alternative Videos 

By Kate Bobby 

Canadian Network Gives 
Women a Voice 

By Frances Hidalgo 





35 Field Reports 

There's No Business at 
ShowBiz Expo 

By Mitch Albert 

It's a Wrap: Sundance '95 

By Patricia Thomson 

Looking for Funds in 
Some of the Right 
Places: IFFCON 

By Michael Fox 

42 In Focus 

How to Avoid a Noise 
Dive: Producing a Fool- 
proof Audio Track 

By Luke Hones 

COVER: Mina Shum, director of Double Happiness, the top 
prize winner in the Berlin Film Festival's Forum section, is 
among the new breed of women directors who deal with 
issues once associated with feminism, but under different 
groundrules than those laid out by feminist film theorists in 
the seventies. In this issue, Laurie Ouellette looks at the 
new wave of women's films. Photo courtesy Fine Line. 



4 Festivals by kathryn bowser 
58 AIVF Advocacy by martha wanner 



46 Classifieds 49 Notices 
60 Memoranda by Pamela 



April 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 3 




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4 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 995 



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MISFF.2 



GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSION: 

Entry Deadline: Friday, June 9. 

VHS (1/2") preview cassette (NTSC only) 

$25 Entry Fee (this includes return postage)* 

Check or Money Order made out to Passport Cinemas 

The film or video must be less than 60 minutes. 

Foreign Language pictures must be subtitled in English.* 

Include Self-Addressed Enveloped for return of preview 

cassette. 

Plot/Concept synopsis - 100 words or less. 

Cast & Crew list. 

CATEGORIES (please check one) 

G Variety 

Fiction storytelling by any means. . . 
G Window on the World 

Non-Fiction human interest. . . 
Q Transgression 

Violation of what is NORMAL. . . 
G Gay and/or Lesbian 

Fiction or non-fiction. . . 
Q Eyes Bright With Wonder 

Stories for children 8- 15 years. . . 

* Entries from outside the United States should be accompa- 
nied by a commercial invoice and should be marked "FOR 
CULTURAL USE ONLY: NO COMMERCIAL VALUE". Entry 
fee must be paid with a U.S. Money Order. 



SEND ALL ENTRIES TO: 



Passport Cinemas, Ltd. 

542 Yates Street 

Albany, NY 12208 

USA 

Phone: (518)453-1000 

Fax: (518)453-1350 



The 2nd annual M.I.S.F.F. will take place at five (5) locations in and around Albany, New York (only 
3 hours from both New York City and Boston, MA) over a period of 4 days: OCTOBER 12-15, 1995. 
Special juries will be selected to award the "Golden Cappuccino" award to the best picture in each of the 
five (5) categories listed above (winners will receive an espresso machine to fuel their creativity) and the 
audience will be given an opportunity to vote on the best film in each 2 hour program. Winners of the 
Audience Award (approximately 60 films and videos) will be exhibited in Nev York City as the "BEST 
OF THE METROLAND INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL" in December, 1995. 

NOTIFICATION TO ALL ENTRANTS: 

All entrants will receive notification regarding submitted work by July 14. If your film or video is invit- 
ed, you will receive information regarding submission of exhibition print or video, screening dates, 
times, and available accommodation (should you decide to attend the festival). 

Upon receipt of invitation a complete set of publicity materials will be required including: B & W 
and/or Color still photos, Press Books, and One-Sheets. 

PHOTO RIGHT: Laura Carney, Trees (Left) and Addison Cook. Wildgirl's - Go - Go - Rama (Back): Opening night party in October. 1994. 
Photo by Dina Williams 




April 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 5 



Media in the Schools 

Back by popular demand: Our report on Media Literacy and Media Education in grades K-12, first 
published in the August/September 1993 issue, has been one of the most widely requested issues of 
The Independent. Now readers can order this 24-page reprint, which answers all the basics: 

What is media literacy? How can it be integrated into the curriculum? 

How can a teacher "grade" media projects? 

Plus, profiles of innovative media education programs around the country. 

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LETTERS: Continued from p. 2 

About Series," December 1994], she writes with the 
misunderstanding that PBS can do something it can- 
not. 

PBS is the Public Broadcasting Service. It is a ser- 
vice funded and operated by public television sta- 
tions. PBS is not a network. Even though PBS does 
otter a national primetime schedule and -encourages 
at least one station per market to broadcast certain 
national productions, each station individually makes 
a decision about each program. PBS cannot and does 
not decide for them. 

PBS has no broadcast license and therefore can- 
not decide to broadcast any program regardless of the 
pressure that any organization of producers applies to 
PBS. 

Public TV stations are licensed to local communi- 
ties and select their program schedules based on the 
needs of their viewers. Only that local station can 
and does decide whether or not to broadcast any pro- 
gram from any distributor. 

Those doing the marketing for ITVS are on the 
right track. 

David). Brugger, President 
Association of America's Public Television Stations 

Michele Shapiro responds: 

Thank you for attempting to clarify the Public 
Broadcasting Service's role in the complex web of 
public television. As you point out, PBS does offer a 
core program schedule to all its member stations via 
PBS's National Program Service (reorganized in 
February), which is how programs like MacNeil/Lehrer 
NewsHour, Great Performances, Nova, and Wall Street 
Week come to viewers. While it's true that stations are 
not required to air these shows, many do. In addition, 
these programs benefit from press promotion, han- 
dled in part by PBS. The series are also sent via satel- 
lite at times that are convenient for stations, so many 
don't have to bother recording them, 

Only one of ITVS's series, Declarations of 
Independents, has been approved by the National 
Program Service to date and offered through its 
national satellite feed. ITVS's highly regarded The 
Ride and TV Families were both turned down. Since, 
as you say, it's the stations that make decisions about 
airing each program or series, perhaps PBS's pro- 
gramming executives need to put more trust in the 
individual stations: offer them more series via the 
national feed, then let them decide whether or not 
each is suitable for their particular primetime audi- 
ence. (Donald H. Thorns, PBS' director of program 
management, said on the record he "liked and loved" 
most of the TV Families installments.) 

If PBS is becoming only an outlet for game shows 
and run-of-the-mill documentary series and ignores 
its mandate to air innovative programming, it's hard 
to see how it will survive in the long run. 



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6 THE INDEPENDENT April 1995 



Edited by Michele Shapiro 



IT'S SHOWnit! (_ 

Showtime's Sundance Film Channel, x y 

Bravo, and Cinemax Vie for Independent Fare 







f the record $5.4 
billion collected in 
u.s. box-office 
receipts last year, 
between six and 10 
percent came from 
independent films. 
Hence major stu- 
dios AND DISTRIBU- 
TORS, ARMED WITH 
THE HEAVIEST 
ARTILLERY AVAILABLE — 
blank checks — are in the 
market for high-quality, 
low-budget fare. Adding to 
the competition, a number 
of cable networks have 
either launched separate 
channels devoted to inde- 
pendent work or have set 
aside funds for the cultivation 
of indies. 

More than a year after 
Variety's "Bui:" column first 
announced Robert Redford's 
plans to launch a cable channel 
featuring independent work, the 
Sundance Film Group, Redford's 
commercial wing, struck a deal with Showtime 
Networks, Inc. to launch the Sundance Film 
Channel. The deal for the 24-hour, commercial- 
free network was announced just prior to this 
year's Sundance Film Festival, which took place 
January 19 to 29 in Park City, Utah. 

The Sundance Channel, scheduled for a fall 
1995 launch date, will showcase approximately 50 
films per month as well as shorts, docs, and ani- 
mated work. A sampling of the service will initial- 
ly be provided to approximately 12 million viewers 
of Showtime and the Movie Channel, both of 
which are owned by Showtime Networks. 

Redford's loose definition of "independent" 
product includes everything from projects made in 
conjunction with Hollywood studios to those writ- 
ten, directed, and produced for well under $1 mil- 
lion. Yet initially the channel will draw upon exist- 
ing agreements that Showtime has in place with 




M G M - U A , 
Castle Rock, and TriStar. 
Negotiations are also underway with independent 
distributors, including Orion Classics and October 
Films, to acquire new titles. Features slated to 
have their pay-TV premiere on the channel 
include Claire of the Moon, Belle Epoque, and Sleep 
with Me. Other first-run titles slated to air include 
Four Weddings and a Funeral, Orlando, Romeo Is 
Bleeding, and Barcelona. 

"What we're going to do in programming for 
the channel is to create an environment around 
each project," Redford told the Hollywood Reporter 
in January. "We'll have interviews with the film- 
maker so [the maker] can talk about his or her 
work rather than having some host talk about it, 
or me talk about it." In addition, filmmakers will 
produce their own on-air promotional spots. 

The logical issue that was raised repeatedly 
after the Sundance Kid unveiled his plans in late 
January was just what the link would be between 
films selected to screen at the Sundance festival 
and the Sundance Channel. A Showtime 



spokesperson told The Independent that details of 
the relationship are not yet concrete. "But because 
several films come in to Sundance this year with 
theatrical distribution already in place, the pro- 
jects will have to be looked at on a case-by-case 
basis," said the source. 

As for coproductions, the spokesperson said 
that while the channel has no coproduction bud- 
get per se, it will consider coproducing projects the 
network finds particularly compelling and appro- 
priate. The channel has already received a number 
of scripts and treatments from makers and the pro- 
jects will be considered individually. Redford has 
said he hopes programming ideas will come out of 
the Sundance Institute workshops. Showtime, 
which has a strong coproduction track record, 
produced more than 20 original films in 1994 and 
hopes to double that figure in 1995. 

Deja Vu All Over Again 

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it's probably because just last fall Bravo launched 
the Independent Film Channel (IFC), which cur- 
rently reaches approximately 3 million viewers. 
[See "Bravo Launches Independent Film 
Channel," August/September 1994.] 

Prior to penning his deal with Showtime, 
Redford had talked to Bravo about becoming 
involved with IFC. The deal, however, fell through 
at the eleventh hour when Redford and Kathy 
Dore, executive vice president and general man- 
ager of Bravo, reached an impasse on the issue of 
creative control. "At the end of the day we could- 
n't figure out a way to give Sundance and Robert 
Redford the control they wanted and maintain the 
integrity of the channel," Dore told Multichannel 
News. Although Redford will not be involved in 
managing the Sundance Film Channel, he will 
choose the staff and have veto power over films. 

Sniping between the two networks was played 
out in the press shortly after Showtime's 
announcement. The IFC labeled the Sundance 
Channel "an imitator" and Sundance retaliated by 
dismissing IFC's claim of clout within the commu- 
nity. Although IFC is emphasizing a broader range 
of films — 400 to 500 titles annually versus 
Sundance's 300 — the latter's anticipated viewer- 
ship is nearly four times greater, according to 
Showtime. And while IFC's advisory board boasts 
names such as Scorsese, Altman, and Spike Lee, 
Showtime's Cox has said, "There's a big difference 
between an advisory board and a direct invest- 
ment. We're not into this smoke and mirrors 
game." 

In an attempt to counter all the publicity the 
Sundance Channel received both prior to and 
during the Sundance Festival, the IFC announced 
plans for a fund called IFCheap, short for IFC 
Helps Emerging Artists Produce, which would 
support independent production. The fund will be 
financed from IFC profits. Theoretically, the fund 
will both provide money for project development 
and finishing funds for independent features. But 
since the network doesn't expect to turn a profit 
for at least two to three years, details about just 
how much money will be available are sketchy at 
best. IFC has already committed to funding inde- 
pendent productions, however, and plans to pro- 
duce six short films in 1995, including Ileana 
Douglas's Girl Crazy, Boy Crazier. 

Taking It to the (Cine) Max 

Another hot player in the cable market, HBO- 
owned Cinemax, is also getting into the funding 
game. Documentary filmmakers have long 
approached HBO to finance projects created 
specifically for America Under Cover, such as 
Susan and Alan Raymond's I Am a Promise, about 
an inner-city school in Philadelphia. Now HBO 
has unveiled plans to provide completion funds for 
feature-length documentaries that will premiere 



on Cinemax. 

Jonathan Moss, director of documentary pro- 
gramming for HBO, said the announcement 
means HBO now can consider a much broader 
range of films for funding and licensing through 
Cinemax. "We are thrilled to have these funds. 
HBO has always been committed to indepen- 
dents, and we have wanted to do this for some 
time. It was a matter of resources," Moss told The 
Independent in February. He added that HBO has 
finishing funds available for approximately four or 
five projects per year, depending on how much is 
allotted to each. "The whole thing is very new, 
and we haven't defined the rules yet," said Moss. 
The projects are intended for broadcast on 
Cinemax's Vanguard Cinema series, a weekly pro- 
gram spotlighting feature-length independent fea- 
tures and documentaries. 

The first two projects for which HBO has pro- 
vided partial funding are Nick Broomfield's unti- 
tled film on Heidi Fleiss and Jupiter's Wife, Michel 
Negroponte's documentary about a homeless 
woman in Central Park. Both projects will air on 
Cinemax in mid- to late 1995. 

Jupiter's Wife coproducer Doug Block said the 
filmmakers approached HBO for funding in the 
early stages of the film, but HBO execs felt it was- 
n't right for America Under Cover. Those same 
execs, however, recommended the project- to 
Vanguard Cinema. The filmmakers in turn received 
completion funds and a "generous licensing fee," 
according to Block. 

Asked if Cinemax feels pressure to compete 
with the new Sundance and Independent Film 
channels, Camilla Carpenter, vice president of 



ON THE 



"If this works out; I'd like to 

be assured of my own shelf 

at Blockbuster. O.K.?" 

— Roben Redford to Tony Cox, chairman of 

Showtime, in announcing the launch of the 

Sundance Film Channel, 

from Variety, January 1995 

* T/ie Independent is soliciting quotes by and about 
the media arts for "On the Record". If you come 
across a brilliant, funny, stupid, or enlightening 
quote, send it to Michele Shapiro (see masthead for 
mail/fax/email; no calls, please). Include name Si 
date publication in which quote first appeared. It 
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programming, replied that Cinemax has long been 
a home for independent work, and added that the 
network has long searched festivals and theaters 
for quality independent work. Having premiered 
films like John Dahl's Red Rock West and The Last 
Seduction, Cinemax considers itself the model that 
other networks are now duplicating. "We love the 
fact that there is more interest in independent 
films," said Carpenter. "There are plenty out there 
looking for a home, and rather than being compe- 
tition, Cinemax feels that new channels spotlight- 
ing independents will only increase the audience 
for all independent work." 

Contact Information: The Sundance Film Chan- 
nel, Nora Ryan, exec VP, busmess development, do 
Showtime Network, 1633 Broadway, 37th fl., NY, 
NY 10019 (no calls, please); The Independent Film 
Channel, Caroline Kaplan, director of development, 
or George Lentz, manager of acquisitions and sched- 
uling, do Bravo, 150 Crossways Park West, 
Woodbury, NY 11797; (516) 364-2222; Jonathan 
Moss and Sheila Nevins, Documentary Dept., HBO, 
1 100 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY J 0036; 
(212) 512-1000. 

Michele Shapiro and Ingalisa 
schrobsdorff 

Michele Shapiro is managing editor of The 
Independent. Ingalisa Schrobsdorff is a Manhattan- 
based freelance writer. 



NVR OFFERS LIBRARIES 

ALTERNATIVE VIDEOS 

AT A DISCOUNT 



i|i^ t took several years, a grant, and a loan 
as well as a cast of unpaid actors and 
donated props to bring filmmaker 
Victoria Maldonado's film Cafe Norte y 
Sur to life. A former boss gave her the 
loan. The New York State Council on 
the Arts (NYSCA) gave her a postpro- 
duction grant. Maldonado found the 
time (working as a waitress during the 
day and a director at night), and her 
friends often stood in as actors, dream- 
ing up their own dialogue. ("If Truffault did it, why 
can't I, right?" Maldonado jokes.) 

Maldonado's film, completed in 1989, lives on 
thanks to Videoforum: A Videography for Librarians. 
Videoforum is a joint project of the John D. and 
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Library 
Video Project series and National Video Resources 
(NVR), a Rockefeller initiative. Since the library 
distribution project's start-up around four years 
ago, NVR has published two catalogs — the first 



10 THE INDEPENDENT April 1995 




offering Native American titles (1992) and the 
other Latino videos (1994). Through the 
MacArthur Foundation's marketing and distribu- 
tion efforts, the project has facilitated the sale of 
175,000 hours of tape. 

The Videoforum series represents a spectrum of 
video titles selected and written about by librari- 
ans, media programmers, videographers, and film- 
makers. The catalogs are primarily distributed to 
public librarians, many of whom are trying to build 
video collections; the Latino catalog boasts rough- 
ly 70 titles, the Native American catalog about 40. 
"Librarians want to respond to their constituen- 
cies," says NVR senior consultant Mary Keelan, 
who is also the head of audio-visual services for 
New York State's Mid-Hudson Library System 
(which has the state's largest collection of inde- 
pendent videos outside of the city). "They don't 
want to make a mistake in purchasing. With the 
Videoforum project, they have a curated collection. 
They know they are going to be okay." 

A main benefit of the project is that it offers 
video titles at a discount. For example, the stan- 
dard list price of Against Wind and Tide: A Cuban 
Odyssey, a one-hour documentary included in the 
Latino catalog, is $295; Videoforum offers it for 
$89. Another plus for librarians is that the dis- 
counted price tag includes public performance 
rights as well as shipping and handling costs (with 
a few listed exceptions). Having public perfor- 
mance rights allows for the works to be screened 
at librarian-curated festivals. 

The catalog also benefits makers and distribu- 
tors (in many cases they are one and the same) on 
several levels. First, the maker or distributor can 
decide how much of a discount to offer. Second, 
the catalog has the ability to generate what for 



many makers will be their biggest viewing audi- 
ence ever. "I've received a number of requests for 
my work through Videoforum's Latino catalogue," 
says California-based filmmaker Juan Garza, who 
agreed to have his video, Albert Pastor's First Video 
Project, which screened at the Whitney Museum 
and the San Antonio Cine Accion Festival, 
included in the catalog. "Some of the requests are 
from Kansas, from Oregon. It's really incredible." 

In addition, working on a project with which 
the MacArthur Foundation is affiliated has its own 
advantages. "The foundation has the Good 
Housekeeping Seal of Approval," says Marie 
Nesthus, senior editor of Videoforum s first two cat- 
alogues and head of the Donnell Library Media 
Center. (Bill Sloane, film curator at the Museum 
of Modern Art, will edit Videoforum s third cata- 
logue on health issues, due out in June.) "While 
it's very aggravating for filmmakers to be put in a 
category, it is a way for them to get out there. The 
message we want to send is that librarians can be 
allies of filmmakers." 

Maldonado, whose Cafe Norte y Sur has just 
been purchased by the Salt Lake City Public 
Library, has mixed feelings about being included in 
the catalog. "Filmmakers are often labeled as 
'Latinos' or 'women' or 'Native Americans.' We 
need to overcome this." Still, she is pleased that 
her work is being considered by librarians outside 
of New York and Los Angeles. "There's no other 
network like this project right now. It reaches 
14,000 libraries across the country." 

Nesthus says critics have accused NVR and 
MacArthur of taking advantage of struggling film- 
makers, but libraries are under pressure to justify 
the materials they purchase, to select those that 
circulate, and to spend as little as possible. 



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"There's been animosity on both sides," Nesthus 
says. "The filmmakers understandably don't want 
to put out their work for nothing, and many 
librarians will ask why they should buy an inde- 
pendent feature for $250 when they can get 
Citizen Kane for $59." 

Nesthus adds that, by the mid-to late eighties, 
the home video market had swallowed up nearly 
every reason for a library administrator to budget 
for independent videos; mass market home videos 
equaled instant circulation figures that immedi- 
ately eclipsed acquisition costs. Most administra- 
tors can't resist such an "easily quantifiable" cost, 
Nesthus observes. 

NVR's executive director Tim Gunn agrees. 
"There was this hope that [mass market] video 
was going to open up the bottleneck for indepen- 
dent work. As it turns out, it's very rare to find 
independent films in video stores." 

MacArthur, however, has a history of offering 
librarians video collections at discounted prices. 
Back in 1988, the foundation offered its Library 
Video Classics, a series of top-notch PBS pro- 
grams including I Claudius and The ]ewel in the 
Crown, at a reduced price to thousands of librari- 
ans across the country. 

Then came the MacArthur Library, a gift of 
films for the librarians who participated in the 
Classics project. "This is a process of evolution, 
not revolution," says NVR's Keelan. "It marks a 
change in the way libraries are selecting their 
materials. The seeds were planted with the 
MacArthur Classics Project." 

With the MacArthur Foundation handing mar- 
keting for the "project, makers can receive far 
greater exposure than their own budgets allow. 
"What makes Videofurum unusual is that [our 
videos are] being marketed out (of house]," says 
Lawrence Spotted Bird, the Native American 
Broadcasting Consortium's development and mar- 
keting manager. A number of the Consortium's 
titles are included in Videoforum's Native 
American catalog. "I don't know what the 
MacArthur Foundation's marketing budget is, but 
I know it's bigger than ours." Spotted Bird adds 
that the Consortium offered the video project 
roughly a 30-percent discount on their titles and, 
in a year, the catalog has netted $27,510 in sales. 
"It's been very beneficial," he acknowledges. 
"They have a mailing list of about 12,000. We've 
never had a mailing list like this before." 

What pleases Nesthus most about the 
Videoforum project is that, despite the fact it can 
only "represent a fraction of what's out there," she 
says the collection is a "balanced, valuable repre- 
sentation of a period of history" and that no mat- 
ter how much time goes by, these curated collec- 
tions will not lose their relevancy. "It's a collection 
that is continually looking to the past as well as to 
the future," she says. 

Local libraries can find out more about the 



Videoforum collection by calling the MacArthur 

Foundation at (800) 847-3671. 

Kate Bobby 

Kate Bobby writes full-time for the North Jersey 
Newsapers, Co., and does freelance writing for a variety 

of publications. 

(MDIANMWORK 
GMSWOMENAVOICE 

n the U.S., the Lifetime Television 
Network has defined women's program- 
ming mainly as third-rate disease-ot- 
the-week movies, dreary domestic sit- 
coms, and game shows in which contes- 
tants try to beat the clock while piling 
groceries into shopping carts. Some 
Canadians, however, have begun to 
explore the possibilities of a cable net- 
work for, by, and about women. 
One of several new networks granted 
licenses by the Canadian government in recent 
years, Women's Television Network (WTN) began 
broadcasting nationwide at the beginning of this 
year. The channel currently airs for 20 hours a day, 



Although it's been compared to the Lifetime 
Network, WTN is radically different not just 
because its programming is geared toward women, 
but also because most of its films and programs are 
created by women. As Barbara Barde, vice presi- 
dent of programming, notes, "It matters to us that 
women are involved in key positions in the cre- 
ation of our programs, so that we are strengthen- 
ing the women's independent production commu- 
nity in Canada." In addition, 96 percent of WTN's 
staff is female, including all of its executives and 
the entire senior management level. "It's a real 
breakthrough in the broadcast industry," says 
Laura Michalchyshyn, programming coordinator 
for WTN. 

WTN was licensed over a year ago, but its con- 
ception goes back five years. A group of share- 
holders, induced by the new channel licenses 
becoming available on Canadian television, asked 
some women they knew to develop a network that 
would appeal to female viewers. Four years of mar- 
ket research made it possible for the women to 
determine what their peers would like to see on 
television. Says Barde: "We took about fifteen 
women of all ages from around the country, many 
of whom had not been involved in television 
before, locked them away for a weekend, and 



Vomen's Television Network"? Canada has one 
films like Jane Campion's early short, A Giri'i 
i Story, have a new venue 

rtesy Wome**4ltff£ Movies 




but will expand to 24 hours in September. Aimed 
at amplifying the woman's voice in Canada, the 
Winnipeg-based network's programming is a blend 
of informative series and entertainment features. 
The good news for U.S. filmmakers is that the net- 
work is currently looking beyond Canada for pro- 
gramming to fill its schedule. 



asked, 'If you could create television programs and 
had a blank slate, what would you do. 7 ' A lot of 
what is now in our schedule stems from ideas gen- 
erated by that group." Set to be launched as 
Lifestyle Television, the network changed its 
name after a marketing survey revealed that the 
earlier name didn't distinguish it as a network 
aimed at women. The Women's Television 



Network was licensed on June 7, 1994. 

"We were delighted when they were awatded 
their license," says Jennifer Stott of the women- 
focused, nonprofit distribution company, Women 
Make Movies. "They approached us about a year 
ago when they were trying to obtain their license. 
They needed information regarding potentially 
available films by and about women that hadn't 
been broadcast before in Canada. We have since 
established a working relationship with them," she 
continues. The New York-based Women Make 
Movies has licensed a number of films to WTN, 
including the short films of Jane Campion, Julie 
Dash, Alice Walker, and Pratibha Parmar. 

The network is currently buying North 
American programming (both original submis- 
sions and previously-aired product) for series, 
including Girl Movies, feature films directed by 
women or which star women in leading roles. The 
network is also acquiring product for S/uime/ess 
Shorts, broadcast three times a week, featuring 
both Canadian and international shorts directed 
by women; The World Film Festival, featuring inde- 
pendent productions from around the world; and 
Through Her Eyes, a four-hour showcase that 
includes a feature and short films by one director 
as well as a pretaped interview- with her. 
Showcased directors have included Jane 
Campion, Angela Pope, Martha Coolidge, Diane 
Keaton, Julia Reichert, and Sally Potter. "Through 
Her Eyes is very innovative, because never before 
has a broadcaster in Canada dedicated a block of 
programming to a director and her work," says 
Michalchyshyn. 

Rates for licensing and acquisitions are based 
on the length of the piece and whether it has been 
broadcast before in Canada. Since the network is 
relatively new, the general price for acquisitions 
starts at about $3,000 Canadian per hour. "Once 
revenues start coming in, our big mandate will be 
to increase the acquisition budget and pay higher 
licensing fees," says Michalchyshyn. "So far we've 
had great response because we are so innovative." 

One of the emerging filmmakers to whom 
WTN has given voice is New York-based Bianca 
Bob Miller. A few of her shorts were purchased by 
the network after they were screened at the St. 
John's International Women's Festival. "Laura 
[Michalchyshyn] saw some of my pieces there and 
contacted me," Miller says. "I think the idea of a 
women's network is great. I wonder if we'll ever 
see the equivalent in this country." Miller has been 
able to recommend other women filmmakers to 
WTN and said that the staff has been approach- 
able and open to her suggestions. 

Contact: Laura Michalchyshyn, programming 
coordinator, WTN, ste. 300-166/ Portage Ave., 
Winnipeg Manitoba R3] 3T7. 

Frances Hillwjo 

Frances Hidalgo is a freelance writer and film- 
maker living in Manhattan. 

April 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 13 




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14 THE INDEPENDENT April 1995 




Talking 
Heads 



JAMES GRAY 

dtrectjoir 

LITTLE ODESSA 

BY PATRICIA 
THOMSON 



Most New Yorkers will never forget the win- 

ter of 1994. Fourteen blizzards pummeled the city 
in rapid succession, piling snowdrifts up to the 
tops of street signs, sending cars into hibernation 
under deep white mounds, leaving backs and arms 
sore from repeated shoveling and the city's salt 
reserves staining our boots and streets. Who could 
forget that winter. 7 

Certainly not James Gray, whose first shoot as a 
feature director took place smack in the middle of 
those snowstorms. Twenty-six days of the usual 
production headaches, compounded by an obsti- 
nate snow. 

But what a miracle it became in Gray's Little 
Odessa. That blinding white snow endowed Coney 
Island and the adjacent neighborhood of Brighton 
Beach (known as "Little Odessa" because of its 
large Ukrainian and Russian population) with a 
Siberian look, and it reflected the emotional chill 
that pervades the Jewish Russian family at the 
heart of the film's story. 

Little Odessa opens with Joshua Shapira (Tim 
Roth) returning to Brighton Beach to complete a 
hit for the Russian mafia. He is drawn back to his 
family's apartment, from which his father 
(Maximilian Schell) has exiled him because of an 



earlier murder. Through his younger brother, 
Reuben (Edward Furlong), he learns his mother 
(Vanessa Redgrave) is dying of a brain tumor and 
becomes determined to visit her one last time. 

Despite casting Tim Roth as a hit man, Gray's 
frame of reference is far from Quentin Tarantino, 
the king of contract killers, smart-boy witticisms, 
and intricately woven, fast-paced plots. Little 
Odessa is an elegiac, deliberately-paced drama 
about the destruction of a family, inspired more by 
the stately tragedies of Shakespeare and the 
brooding, interior characters of Dostoyevsky. 

"Since 1980, the film industry has exorcised 
tragedy from its consciousness," Gray says with 
honest regret. With Little Odessa, the director 
tried to make a consciously "unhip" film "about 
silences and emotional repression," he says. Tim 
Roth's character has "closed down emotionally," 
Gray explains. "The film is about a person who is 
trying to re-establish himself, but of course his 
tragedy is that he can't succeed, because he's gone 
too far." 

Another element that distinguishes Little 
Odessa is its stunning cinematography, which finds 
beauty even in the most prosaic of urban settings. 
In a deep shot by the Coney Island boardwalk, dis- 
tant roller coasters loom like giant, frozen 
dinosaurs. A raking light catches the grainy tex- 
ture of a bedroom wall. Black becomes a lustrous 
color — and there is much of it, as numerous 
scenes take place at night or in dark interiors, with 
the characters backlit or barely emerging from 
deep shadows. 

Not surprisingly, Gray once wanted to be a 
painter. During preproduction, in fact, "I painted 
75 watercolors, and I gave them to [DP] Tom 
Richmond and said, 'I want the movie to be like 
this.'" He, Richmond, and the production design- 
er also roamed the Museum of Modern Art and 




the Metropolitan together. Baroque 
painters like Caravaggio and Georges de la 
Tour — both masters of dramatic candle-lit 
scenes — served as inspiration. Seeking a 
"painterly format," Gray and Richmond 
chose to shoot widescreen, using a 2.35 
aspect ratio, which better enabled the kind 
of pictorial tableaux they were after. "I 
think my greatest strength, perhaps, is set- 
ting up a good shot," Gray admits when 
pressed. An articulate and thoughtful per- 
son, Gray is also extremely self-deprecating. He 
continues, "The greatest strength I want to have is 
being able to direct actors, or to write a brilliant 
narrative." 

Others might say Gray's most awesome 
strength is his ability to attract talent on the level 
of Vanessa Redgrave and Tim Roth for his first fea- 
ture outing, not to mention financing from LIVE 
Home Video and Fine Line Features, which each 
pitched in roughly half of the film's $2.3 million 
budget. The 25-year-old director sheepishly 
acknowledges that Little Odessa came about rela- 
tively easily. 

It all started when Gray was about to graduate 
from USC's film program. The annual screening of 
thesis shorts regularly brings in a flurry of agents. 
But word had gotten out early about Gray's 12- 
minute, 16mm dramatic thriller, Cowboys and 
Angek. "It was bizarre," he recalls. "Agents were 
calling me during the editing process; I honestly 
don't know how they knew about it." Gray signed 
on with United Talent Agency, which sent a cas- 
sette of Cowboys and Angels to producer Paul 
Webster (Bob Roberts, Romeo Is Bleeding). On the 
strength of this and a meeting with Gray, Webster 
decided to produce something with Gray as direc- 
tor. 

"I had no idea what I wanted to do, so he start- 
ed sending me screenplays. I didn't want to write; 
I thought screenwriting was horrible," he recalls. 
So Webster began sending him scripts — "cop 
movies, serial killer stories, and I hated all of them. 
I couldn't get more than four words into it: A hes- 
itant rookie cop...' then I'd throw it in the corner. 
So I figured, screw this, I'd better start writing, 
even though I hate it. And I started writing and 
thought, jeez, this is the key to filmmaking! I fell 
in love with screenwriting." 

Gray set to work. His second script, Little 



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Odessa, was smaller, more personal — and more 
affordable — so it got the green light. Tim Roth was 
the first actor to sign on, which opened the gates 
to everyone else. "It's kind of nauseating that I got 
all the actors I wanted," Gray admits. Through his 
line producer, he also brought on board a talented 
and well-oiled crew for the grueling winter shoot, 
many of whom were used to working together 
from previous independent shoots. Little Odessa's 
production manager Christopher Goode, produc- 
tion coordinator Victoria McGarry, and location 
manager Eddy Collyns all moved directly from Hal 
Hartley's Amateur to Gray's feature, then to David 
O. Russell's (Spanking the Monkey) second film, 
Flirting with Disaster, along with production 
designer Kevin Thompson and coproducer Kelly 
Orent. 

For the Brooklyn-born Gray, who is of Russian 
Jewish descent, Little Odessa was a homecoming of 
sorts. These were his childhood stomping grounds; 
raised in Flushing, Queens, he used to play in 
many of the film's locations and wrote the script 
with them in mind. He also dug for hard informa- 
tion about the Russian mafia — the subject of many 
childhood rumors and tales — getting background 
from the newspapers, interviews with police detec- 
tives, and other local sources. 

Now an eager scribe, Gray is in the midst of 
writing an ambitious screenplay for Fox 
Searchlight "about the world underneath the 
world — the New York subways and political cor- 
ruption. It's a very Neo-Realist movie," he says. 
"It's an open, expansive text, like life itself." 

Little Odessa opens in New York on March 31 
and goes wide on April 14- 

Patricia Thomson is editor of The Independent. 



T 

JEM COHEN 

artist 
BURIED IN LIGHT 

By Steve Dollar 

Poised between centuries of tradition and an 

hour with the wrecking ball, the Eastern Europe 
that Jem Cohen observes in his video installation 
Buried in Light is about to realize the American 
Dream — and it's not an ideal fantasy. If, as a char- 
acter mused near the end of German director Wim 
Wenders' road movie Kings of the Road, the "Yanks 
have colonized our subconscious," then by 1992 
the West was moving in for real: lock, stock, and 
Big Macs by the handful. 



133 MERCER ST. NYC 10012 • 212.966-6794 • E-mailmercerst@aol.com 



"One of the primary functions I have as a film- 
maker is to document things that are disappear- 
ing," says Cohen, who shot the tootage on an array 
of vintage Super-8 cameras over two months of 
travels in '92 and '93, taking trains to Berlin, 
Dresden, Prague, Budapest, and Krakow as those 
cities came to terms with a post-perestroika gold 
rush. "I'm always shooting," he says. "Sometimes 
I'm able to complete projects and sometimes not. 
I hope the shooting has value regardless. If I end 
up with footage of a performer, a building, a 
street — anything that's going to disappear — at 
least I know that on the shelf, there's documenta- 
tion." 

Buried in Light offers a visually poetic glimpse 
through what Cohen terms a "specific historical 
window" that opened after the fall of the Berlin 
Wall. The genre-blurring work, which the film- 
maker likens to "visual short-wave," was commis- 
sioned by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and 
exhibited there in late 1994- It takes the form of 
an anti-travelogue, complete with an ironic 
tourist's dictionary and an aesthetic sensibility 
somewhere between German essayist Walter 
Benjamin and film-diarist Ross McElwee. 

Transferred from film to laser video, the hour- 
long centerpiece is part of a three-channel instal- 
lation in which monitors create a triptych of dif- 
ferent images, all surrounded by still photographs, 
text, and other artifacts from Cohen's travels. 

The piece makes intriguing use of visual effects 
created by what Cohen calls "organic" manipula- 



tions. Minimal and low-tech, these are accom- 
plished m-camera or in the film-to-tape transfer, 
and allow the images to flow in a dream-like fash- 
ion. Cohen, who also shoots work in 16mm and 
Hi-8, chose Super-8 film for this project for both 
economic and aesthetic considerations. "I fell in 
love with the medium because of its extraordinary 
beauty and versatility," he savs. "There's a rawness 
to it that often gets closer to the truth of what 
you're shooting." 

The film's meditative tone is enhanced by orig- 
inal music from Athens, Georgia singer-songwriter 
Vic Chesnutt, downtown New York cellist Tom 
Cora, Ian MacKaye of Fugazi, the group House 
Sleep Fire, and even cartoonist Ben Katchor, 
whose weekly Village Voice strip, Julius Knipl, Real 
Estate Photographer, shares Cohen's perspective on 
the collisions of old and new. 

"Basically, I work with what I run into in the 
world as it exists," Cohen says. "It's a simple 
notion. The Italian Neo-realists are very impor- 
tant to me, as is work like Salesman by the Maysles, 
and a whole tradition of street shooting — Walker 
Evans, Helen Levitt, Robert Frank, Leon 
Levinstein, Adam Cohen. I can't afford to do 
movies with sets and actors, so I work with what's 
out there and it's free." 

Like much of Cohen's work, however, Buried in 
Light may be difficult to see. Chicago's Video Data 
Bank will distribute a single-channel version of 
the video, but as yet the installation isn't slated to 
travel elsewhere. Other, unfinished projects such 




as Late City Final (a collaboration begun in 1991, 
on the so-called revitalization of Times Square) 
have been sitting on the shelf while he scrapes up 
finishing funds. More often than not, funding 
comes out of pocket, though Cohen just received 
a New York State Council for the Arts grant to 
complete Lost Book Found, a project begun in 1989 
built around the filmmaker's days as a New York 
City pushcart vendor. The filmmaker's refusal to 
fit specific molds makes it harder to secure financ- 
ing for his work. Cohen's career is a testimony to 
gumption in limbo. 

"I'm not sure I would have survived without 
the occasional grant, programs like Standby, and 
institutions like the Wexner [Center for the Arts 
in Columbus, Ohio] and the High Museum," 
Cohen says. "I'm afraid I've never really felt part of 
any film/video community, if such a thing exists. It 
often seems limited by some exclusionary agenda, 
and I think independent media should be just 
that — independent of any imposed agenda. 

"For some, my work isn't politically engaged 
enough. I find that ironic. Buried in Light, Lost 
Book Found, and the Times Square project are all 
concerned with the erasure of history and region- 
al character, the Disneyfication of the planet, and 
capitalism as it's experienced at street level," he 
continues. "Even where there isn't any explicit 
political agenda, the act of documenting can be a 
political act." 

Some of Cohen's previous works include This Is 
a History of New York (1988), a "history" of New 
York City from prehistoric times through the space 
age, illustrated entirely with documentary street 
footage, and the video installation Black Hole 
Radio (1992), which is based on actual recordings 
of anonymous phonecalls to a "confession line." 
But Cohen's widest exposure comes through his 
association with R.E.M., the media- 
savvy Athens rock band that, to 
various degrees, has involved inde- 
pendent filmmakers in its visual pre- 
sentations — from rock videos to the 
massive film installation used on the 
group's current world tour. Cohen, 
whose latest musical video for R.E.M. 
was "Nightswimming," has also 
directed videos for Miracle Legion 
and a Vivaldi clip for Deutsche Gram- 
ophon. 

"As for the recent work with R.E.M. , 

I have mixed feelings about giant rock 

'n' roll spectacles, and I think they do 

too," says Cohen, who shot footage for 

the tour. "I don't feel it's exactly what I 

want to do, but it's a really wonderful 

opportunity on a kind of experimental 

evel and it helps me to fund other work. 

Back in the sixties and seventies, people 

were having crazy film screenings. There was a lot 

more crazy shit going down in terms of enjoying 



Right: From Buried In Light, by Jem Cohen, courtesy filmmaker; photo of Cohen: Ghretta Hynd 



April 1993 THE INDEPENDENT 17 



the medium and exploring possibilities for how to 
present it. That's rare now, so if it takes R.E.M. to 
get me hack into that magic lantern experience on 
a grand scale, then I really dig it." 

Cohen is currently working with the Washing- 
ton, D.C.-hased hand Fugazi on a long-form video 
that hears little relation to MTV-type product, and 
gathering footage for a personal document on the 
Atlanta hand Smoke and its vocalist, Benjamin. 
The music-related work is important to Cohen, 
but is only part of his output. "I wish there was 
more support and more venues for independent, 
experimental work, hut sometimes music videos 
and rock band projects are the only way to make 
things happen. I try to stay away from the conven- 
tions of both the music and film 'businesses,' and 
to search out the independent spirit in both 
realms." 

Jem Cohen, c/o Video Data Bank, 112 South 
Michigan Avenue, ste. 312, Chicago, IL 60603; 
(312) 345-3550. 

Steve Dollar is from Tallahassee and writes about pop 
culture for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 



PATRICIA SMITH & 
KURT HEINTZ 

<*jidb&o promts 

CHINESE 
CUCUMBERS 

By George Fifield 



Chinese Cucumbers is a video of uncom- 

promising edginess. On the hottest day of the year, 
a gay man walks the city streets, propelled by the 
headlines that "screamed at him from supermarket 
tabloids: 'CHINESE CUCUMBERS: MIRACLE 
CURE FOR AIDS.'" In this five-minute poetry 
video, a collaboration between poet Patricia Smith 
and videomaker Kurt Heintz, Smith forcefully 
reads her eponymous verse that recounts how a 
desperate Everyman has leapt from one New Age 
quackery to another in order to save his dying 
lover. After the crystals and the chanting, he wan- 
ders through Chinatown, searching for the miracle 
vegetable. Smith punches out the words: 

Right in the middle of poking around a dusty stall, 
slapping away the maggots and the fruit flies, he real- 
izes, he doesn't even know what the damned things 
look like. 

Smith's performance, Heintz's brilliant chop- 
chop editing, and the gritty whine of Eric 



Leonardson's sound/music track effectively cap- 
ture this hopeless grasping at straws. Not just the 
tragedy of one couple's desperation, it is a 
metaphor of the constant false hope that popular 
culture and the medical establishment inflict on 
the sufferers of this plague and those who love 
them. 

So what is poetry video? Poetry and film have 
had a long relationship. This year, San Francisco 
will host the 20th annual Poetry Film/Video 
Festival. But recently two activities have pumped 
new energy into this hybrid art form. One is per- 
formance poetry, the other music video. The new 
performance edge in the poetry world is demon- 
strated by the "poetry slam." The slam is a round 
robin contest that judges a poet's work as well as 
the energy with which it is presented. Poetry 
inspired by the street and projecting a raw, in- 
your-face emotional content has an advantage, 
and as a result, across the country the staid poetry 
reading has given way to a sort of literary specta- 
tor sport. 

Meanwhile, the 



Kurt Heinz has been one of the premiere prac- 
titioners of this new art form in the Chicago area. 
A poet and performer, he has been producing 
poetry videos since 1991 with a variety of poets, 
including Paul McComas, Dean Hacker, and Cin 
Salach. 

Patricia Smith was also a regular participant in 
Chicago's poetry slam scene. The author of three 
hooks of poetry, Smith is a three-time National 
Slam champion — once with the first national 
Chicago team in 1990 and twice since with the 
team from Boston, where she moved the next year 
to work for the Boston Globe as a newspaper 
reporter. Smith's newspaper skills are on a par 
with her poetry. Her dispatches from South Africa 
during the historic first open election were written 
with an immediacy that captured the excitement 
and optimism the elections brought to the coun- 
try. 

In September 1993, Heintz organized Chicago's 
third National Poetry Video Festival. Afterwards 




growth of music videos over the last decade as a 
result of MTV has redefined video as an art form. 
Video artists, whether they like music videos or 
not, have been forced to reexamine their own 
rhythms and editing techniques. Although many 
videographers and filmmakers are not interested 
in providing image candy to help sell pop music, 
using some of these same techniques to present a 
work of poetry is a challenge that more and more 
are accepting. Heintz explains, "I don't want to 
make the mistakes MTV did, but I want to appro- 
priate the good stuff." And MTV has started 
showing these poetry videos with programs like 
Spoken Word Unplugged and Fighun Wordz- 



he and Bob Holman, who produces 
Poetry Spots for WNYC in Manhattan, were stand- 
ing on an El platform on the way to the airport. 
Poetry Spots, winner of three local Emmys, has 
been producing video poetry shorts and airing 
them between station programming since 1988. 
Holman asked Heintz, "What would you like most 
to do?" Heintz recalled having seen Smith perform 
Chinese Cucumbers at the National Poetry Slam in 
Boston the year before. "If I had my choice of any 
poem in the universe," he replied, "that would be 
it." 

WNYC provided the money, and Smith flew 
back to Chicago. This was her first time working 
on a video. "I know nothing about filmmaking, so 



18 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 99J 



I had to put absolute trust in [Kurt]," she says. 
Their collaboration was aided by the fact that she 
was already familiar with his work. Still it was 
strange. For the opening sequence, Heintz took 
her out of town to a farm. "Kurt had this vision, 
and part of it included me standing in a field of 
soybeans for an hour and a half," Smith recalls. 

Doing Chinese Cucumbers has given Smith con- 
fidence to work on other video projects. She says 
that she is "up for anything that's going to increase 
the poetry audience," but adds, "poets must main- 
tain control over their poems." One of her worries, 
as poetry videos become a staple on television is 
that the poem will be lost in the process. Her 
advice to poets is to "work with someone you trust 
and who knows what that poem means to you." 

Chinese Cucumbers has been making the 
rounds, airing on Poetry Spots since March 1994 
and on Image Union, a show featuring the work of 
local independent producers on Chicago's 
WTTW, in November. It was also included in the 
Poetry Video exhibition at the 
De Cord ova 




Cool cucumbers 
Kurt Heintz and 
Patricia Smith. 

Photos courtesy 
Kurt Heintz. 



Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, 
Massachusetts (curated by this writer) and in the 
International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in 
Chicago. 

Both Smith and Heintz are working on new 
video projects. Heintz is shooting two poetry 
videos for poet Quraysh Ali, another with Lucy 
Anderton, and one for himself featuring his own 
poetry, called was an elvis. Smith was recently in 
San Francisco shooting with Rachel Libert and 
Barbara Parker of Tied to the Tracks Films, who 
are producing Undertaker, another powerful poem 
about the violence committed to young black men 
and the resultant pain of their mothers. 

Poetry performance is one of the oldest art 
forms and video one of the newest. Combining 
them is not a simple teat. Chinese Cucumbers is not 



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just a testament to the talent of these artists, it 
also anticipates the exciting future for this com- 
bined new art form. 

Chinese Cucumbers is available through: Kurt 
Heinz, 4742 N. Oakley, #2, Chicago, IL 60625- 
2051; email: malachit(« xochi.tezcat.com. 

George Fifield (gwf(u tiac.net) is a video artist, adjunct 

media arts curator at the DeCordova Museum and 

Sculpture Park, and video curator for 

The Space in Boston. 



LOURDES PORTILLO 

fUirrurricllzeir 

THE DEVIL 
NEVER SLEEPS 

By Andrew Thompson 

"It took some courage to ivr my family on 

FILM — IT'S SO MUCH BASER FOR A DOCUMENTAR 

I \N TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT SOMEBODY ELSE'S SORDID 

i iff." So saks San Francisco-based filmmaker 
lourdes portdllo of her latest work, the 
Devil Never Sleeps (El Diablo Nunca Duerme). 
The film examines Tin: ciru mstances surrch nt> 
inc, the death of her 70-ylar-old uncle, oscar 
Rue Almeida, who was found murdered in the 
summer of 1995. "there's a tendency for ls io 

HEROfZE OUR FAMILY," SHE ADDS. "It's A VERY 

Mexican was of looking at the family." 

A year after the event, Portillo returned to her 
birthplace of Chihuahua, Mexico, to investigate. 
Her family members were more than willing to 
offer their own takes on his life and death, except 
for Oscar's widow, who believes her husband 
killed himself. Portillo, who emigrated at the age of 
13 to East Los Angeles, found that 36 years as a 
California resident put her outside the cul 
tural loop. Deciphering the motives of 
friends and relatives proved challeng- 
ing. 

"They had other agendas," she says. 
"Some were trying to hide things that 
maybe had nothing to do with [Oscar's 
death. There were times people felt they 
couldn't tell me the awful things about my 
uncle." 

Nonetheless, 



the film's stylistic collage struck the right chords 
last fall with a predominantly Mexican audience 
during a screening at Berkeley's Fantasy Films. 

"The film is deeply Mexican, more so than any 
I've ever made, because it contains all the seeds of 
a Mexican family — it has a melodramatic tone, 
the focus on values, and gossip." The crowd's most 
impassioned response was to "the dirtiest of all 
gossip. That's very human. We all love that, but in 
Mexico we relish it." 

A self-professed author of immigrant cinema, 
Portillo probes the complexities of Mexican- 
Chicana identity. Frustrated that Latina filmmak- 
ers had "no network save for the odd personal 
relationships," she spearheaded the Crusando 
Fronteras (Crossing the Border) conference in 
Tijuana three years ago to initiate dialogue 
between Mexican film- and videomakers, critics, 
and their American colleagues. In 1980 Portillo 
also cofounded Cine Accion, a nonprofit exhibi- 
tion organizer and information clearinghouse 
meant to develop a "coherent voice among Latino 
filmmakers. " 

Her debut film, After the Earthquake (1979), is 
a dramatic short about a Nicaraguan maid adjust- 
ing to life in San Francisco's Mission District. 
Under the tutelage of the Marxist film collective 
Cinemanifest, Portillo had acquired a taste for 
political cinema; but she learned you can't please 
everyone. A Sandinista support group, with which 
she and her collaborator (poet Nina Serrano) were 
allied, declared the film's feminist tone '"too play- 
ful.' They wanted something militant, factual, and 
strong." 

One project that certainly has a strong activist 
tone is Las Maares de La Plaza de Mayo (1986), 
which Portillo made with Susana Munoz, an 
Argentinian classmate from the graduate program 
at the San Francisco Art Institute. With $3,000 
between them, Portillo and Munoz captured the 
fierce spirit of a mothers' resistance 
movement against a corrupt 
government responsible for 
the disappearance of their 
children. 

"They sent people to look 
into our rooms and go 
through everything.. .it 
was frightening," she 




ing and emotionally painful. [But] the mothers 
were eloquent and people really opened their 
doors to us." 

It took three years of painful tundraising to 
acquire the additional $300,000 needed to com- 
plete the film, hut Las Madres earned some 20 
international awards, plus Emmy and Oscar nom- 
inations. 

La Ofrenda: The Day of the Dead (1993), also 
done with Muno:, is a poetic analysis of the 
Mexican holiday celebrating the spirits of the 
deceased every first of November. Atypically, the 
film included a look at the AIDS-wracked gay 
community, which had adopted the rite. "The 
Latino gays were very much a part of the whole 
Chicano Renaissance," Portillo says. "It would 
have been an omission not to include them." 

Mirrors of the Heart, her segment for the 10-part 
PBS series The Americas, deconstructed issues of 
color consciousness among black Caribbean 
inhabitants. Portillo argued endlessly to let the 
subjects "speak for themselves." Instead, the use of 
academic narration left her "embittered by the 
conventionality of public television." 

Although Portillo dislikes documenting issues 
in a dry, textbook fashion, she recognizes that cer- 
tain topics require "hard-hitting facts." The next 
documentary for her Xochitl Films production 
company will examine how 30 years' worth of 
American-educated Mexican leaders have con- 
tributed to the downfall of the Mexican economy. 
During Portillo's 16-year career, numerous 
grants have come her way. Much of The Devil 
Never Sleeps' estimated $350,000 budget came 
from an ITVS grant. She's also received funding 
for some upcoming fictional feature films, includ- 
ing an NEA research grant for an experimental 
narrative on the life of 16th century intellectual 
poet Sor Juana, and two Rockefeller grants for a 
love story focusing on the "culture clash" between 
a lesbian immigrant and her American lover. 

The projects closest to Portillo's heart include a 
Chicana reinterpretation of a white lesbian detec- 
tive novel set in San Francisco, and an adaptation 
of Mara Villa, Laura Delfuego's 1950s-era novel 
about a 15 year-old girl "looking for love in all the 
wrong places." Portillo is gearing up to pitch Mara 
Villa to studio executives. 

"Who would trust a woman who looks likes 
your maid with $5 million?" she laughs. "The stu- 
dio heads think like that. They'll say 'Oh, we 
already made Mi Vida Loca.' But this is more like, 
as one producer said, 400 Blows." 

Portillo wants to see more Latinos control their 
own images. "I have a lot of resentment toward 
the stereotypes that have been put on the screen 
for the last 100 years," she says. But she also cau- 
tions up-and-coming filmmakers against inadver- 
tently constructing "beatific stereotypes of who we 
are" in their enthusiasm to break into the industry. 
"We have to make films that are deeply honest. 











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ciJbr&ctcrr/ 

BLOOD MEMORY 

By rosemary Zibart 




Halfway through the filming of Blood 
Memory, The son of the film's Native American 
associate producers, Donald and Alfreda 
Beartrack, was murdered, probably by three white 
supremacists. 

The murder served as an eerie parallel to the 
film's account of the bloody Sand Creek massacre 
of Cheyenne Indians in Eastern Colorado. The 
Beartracks' 17-year-old boy was left to die in a dry 
river bed similar to the site at Sand Creek, where 
over 400 Cheyenne women, children, and old men 
were killed and their bodies mutilated 130 years 
ago. This tragedy did not disrupt the production; 
instead director/producer Deborah Dennison 
decided to incorporate it into the historical saga, 
opening B!ood Memory with a dramatic re-enact- 



ment of the boy's kidnapping and murder. 

Dennison says this contemporary link may help 
viewers understand that the history portrayed in 
Blood Memory is not safely locked away in the past. 
Many Native Americans today feel the legacy of 
betrayal and death has never ended. 

For Dennison, Blood Memory was an important 
undertaking. For a long time — practically since 
she first heard the story of Sand Creek while 
researching another story about the Warm Spring 
Apache tribe — she had wanted to produce a fea- 
ture about this event. It was the first project she 
undertook after deciding to venture out on her 
own as a producer and director. 

Dennison began her career as an actor in 
London and New York. Twelve years ago, she 
wrote and produced the award-winning documen- 
tary To Win at All Costs, a social history of the 
Americas Cup race. She then joined a small 
motion picture company based in London and 
Vancouver; line producing a number of indepen- 
dent features. She also worked with screenwriters 
to budget, package, and negotiate network distrib- 
ution. Although she had some degree of success in 
getting scripts optioned and put 
into development, Dennison ulti- 
mately felt frustrated with seeing 
these scripts remain unproduced, 
and decided to produce and direct 
on her own. 

Failing to obtain significant fund- 
ing for Blood Memory, Dennison 
decided to commit her own re- 
sources, maxing out five credit 
cards and depleting all her person' 
il savings. In addition, due to her 
experience in all phases of theater 
as well as film production, 
Dennison took on the job of sewing 
the period garments, creating the 
authentic plains props, obtaining 
the horses and cavalrymen, and 
just about every other task. 

Determined that Blood Memory 
would accurately reflect a Native 
American perspective, Dennison, a non-Native, 
made coproduction arrangements with the media 
department of the Institute of American Indian 
Arts in Santa Fe. When this plan fell through, she 
recruited the Beartracks and Jeri Ah-be-Hill, a 
Kiowa-Comanche businesswoman, as producers. 
For the music, she turned to composer Lance 
Tailfeathers of the Canadian Blood tribe. 

"Obviously, I believe that more Indian people 
should be making films about Indian people," says 
Dennison. "But I don't think it's a disservice for 
non-Indians [to make a film] if they take the time. 
I have a real problem with writers from New York 
or L.A. barging into a culture and then barging 
out again." One time-consuming aspect of Blood 
Memory, for example, was the traditional ceremo- 



nial blessings that were undertaken at all the film 
sites. 

Dennison's desire for authenticity also affected 
various stylistic choices. Believing that subtitles 
are distracting but wanting to include as much 
Cheyenne speech as possible, Dennison chose a 
production style that hovers between docudrama 
and dramatic feature. Sequences are narrated in 
English by various characters while their native 
language can be heard beneath the narration. At 
present, however, Dennison wants to push Blood 
Memory, which is still in the rough-cut stage, more 
in the direction of a narrative feature and is trying 
to raise money to film additional dramatic scenes. 

The two primary perspectives in the film are 
presented by Chief Lean Bear's Wife (Francine 
Blvthe) and Captain Silas Soule (Gabriel Folse). 
Soule, a soldier sympathetic to the Cheyennes, 
was eventually murdered for his testimony at a 
United States congressional hearing against the 
officers responsible for the massacre. The testimo- 
ny from this hearing was the major source of infor- 
mation Dennison used in scripting Blood Memory. 
Details such as the murder of infants and mutila- 
tion of women's bodies are all part of the record. 

Dennison claims that Sand Creek is a crucial, 
but ignored, piece of American history. The 
Cheyenne chiefs — White Antelope, Black Kettle, 
and Lean Bear — were involved in one of the last 
efforts by Native Americans to make peace with 
the political leaders in Washington. The story of 
their betrayal by the Colorado militia and the 
state's new governor reverberated throughout the 
Indian community in the West. It galvanized bel- 
ligerent Indian groups to make an all-out war on 
white settlers and ultimately led to the massacre of 
General Custer and the U.S. Calavry by the Little 
Big Horn. 

For Americans to know about Little Big Horn 
but not Sand Creek is an unforgivable omission for 
Dennison, who believes the wounds of the past 
cannot heal until they are publicly known and 
acknowledged. The fact that murders like that of 
Donny Beartrack still occur is, in her opinion, the 
result of this uneven silence about the past. 

Dennison's point of view was recently vindicat- 
ed during a rough-cut screening of Blood Memory 
at the 19th annual Native American Film Festival 
in San Francisco. A number of descendants from 
the Sand Creek Cheyenne thanked her for the 
honest portrayal. More poignant was the reaction 
of several white viewers who sat in pained silence 
at the end of the screening. "We just didn't know," 
they finally said. "We had no idea this ever hap- 
pened." 

Blood Memory is available through: Hearthne 
Films, 201 Sunny Slope, Santa Fe, NM 87501; 
(505) 983-4002. 

Rosemary Zibart, author, scriptwriter, and journalist, is 

currently working on a feature screenplay about Dr. 

Elizabeth Blackwell, the first accredited 

woman physician. 



22 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 995 



Real Estate as Art: 
CD-ROM Artist Nancy Buchanan 




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"There's history everywhere: navigators, conquista- 
dors, padres, rancheros, prospectors, wildcatters. But 
there's so much Now, the Then is hard to find..." 

— from The Californias, published by the California 
Office of Tourism 

Viewers of Nancy Buchanan's interactive journal 
Developing: Some Snapshots and Home Movies 



itate on them." 

The project's main menu affiliates aspects of 
development with different steps of the photo- 
graphic process: angle of view, exposure time, 
dodging and burning, development, and fixing. 
Created in Macromedia Director with the video 
clips linked to a laserdisc player, the images, text. 




From Nancy Buchanan's interactive CD-ROM Developing. 

might encounter the above screen of text while 
attempting to link the NOW with the THEN of 
Southern California's real estate development. 
Buchanan, 48, an interactive medianiaker and 
member of the faculty at Cal Arts School of 
Film/Video, has also been a painter, performance 
artist, and videomaker. In each medium, she has 
attempted to understand how her present relates 
to the past. "I am not so much interested in my 
personal life as in how the time that I am living in 
fits into an overview of history," Buchanan says. 

Developing: Some Snapshots and Home Movies, a 
work-in-progress for the last five years, is the result 
of Buchanan's obsession with the subject of real 
estate development, particularly in Southern 
California. "If you look at the past cycles of boom 
and bust, even though the population keeps grow- 
ing, it's not clear that growth is inevitably good." 
says Buchanan. "(This project] is a way for me to 
try and make sense of it. My art work has always 
been a way for me to learn about things and med- 



Courtesy mediamaker. 

and video are organized loosely according to topic. 
Says Buchanan: "It's like my own personal journal 
or diary on this subject. It isn't like an encyclope- 
dia of real estate issues. In terms of where you are 
going, a lot of it is a surprise. I thought that if I sur- 
prised you, it would be similar to flipping through 
my notebook and finding I had pasted something 
here and that it reminded me of this.... The con- 
nections are not always entirely logical." 

One of the most successful aspects of her jour- 
nal is that it does not offer a comprehensive 
overview; rather, it puts the ebbs and flows of 
Southern California's real estate development in 
an interesting perspective. The journal is a patch- 
work of stories about real estate and growth rang- 
ing from the impact of Savings and Loan deregu- 
lation in the eighties to a story of a failed housing 
project that was sold to the makers of Lethal 
Weapon III for the sole purpose of being burned 
and then razed. 

What makes the project compelling is that 




structures and patterns begin to emerge as you flip 
through various screens. Manipulated images of 
rows upon rows of model homes are linked to 
interviews with homeless activists. The structure 
of the project itself mirrors the cyclical nature of 
real estate growth in Southern California and 
emphasizes how overdevelopment in one area 
inevitably leads to losses in another. Buchanan is 
subtle in the placing of her information; the view- 
er is encouraged to ask the question of why more 
affordable housing isn't being built in Southern 
California. 

Developing contains stories, images, and video 
clips of interviews with urban planners and afford- 
able housing activists. In the "Dodge and Burn" 
section there is a spin-the-dial game that offers 
random access to "three true fire stories." Images 
of burning buildings peer out from behind the 
dial's face. The fire stories are unrelated vignettes 
having to do with housing. One story that 
Buchanan couldn't get out of her mind was about 
a woman in her neighborhood who was so upset 
with the condition of her house and the squalor 
she was living in that she set herself on fire in an 
attempt to purify herself. The intensely personal is 
linked to the more historical, which helps put a 
human face on a seemingly impersonal topic. 

The project was originally created for the 
California Museum of Photography in Riverside. 
Coincidentally, Riverside also has the distinction 
of being the fastest growing area in terms of real 
estate development in California during the eight- 
ies. Buchanan designed a section of the project to 
deal specifically with the history of Riverside and 
how it developed around the citrus industry. "One 
of the reasons why the piece has so much specific 
information about Riverside is because I really 
thought about putting things in for that piece that 
would be for that local audience," Buchanan says. 

She has continued to add to her project since 
the June 1994 exhibition in Riverside. "What I'd 
like to do is set up samples of the piece in different 
places and work with local community groups to 
put their comments and histories into the piece," 
Buchanan says. 

What draws her to the interactive, nonlinear 
medium is that it can always be torn apart and 
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shown. A second advantage is the ability to 
include reams of information. "At last there was 
the possibility of putting all the information that I 
wanted into a piece and letting people pick and 
choose," she says. "That is one of the frustrating 
things to me: I have to edit if I am making some- 
thing linear." 

Even nonlinear projects must come to an end, 
and Buchanan will be forced to make some choic- 
es soon. Developing: Some Snapshots and Home 
Movies is soon to be recorded as a CD-ROM at the 
Banff Centre for the Arts, where Buchanan cur- 
rently has a residency. "That's where it's going to 
be really hard to pick and choose things and tie it 
down. And once it is recorded, it's recorded and 
that's it," Buchanan says with a certain satisfac- 
tion. 

By Julia Meltzer 

]uha Meltzer is actively learning about interactive media. 

She also teaches, makes videos, and antes occasionally 

for The Independent. 

h Infobahn Greenbacks and 
II the Invisible Arts 

pn 

■H Last October, nonprofit organizations made off 

^9 with $24 million from a new high-tech grants 

||] program administered by the National 

I Telecommunications and Information Admin- 

1*1 istration (NTIA), an agency housed within 

19 the Department of Commerce that acts as 

19 President Clinton's principal advisor on 

I telecommunications policies. But of the 90- 

19 plus grants, less than a handful went to arts 

I and media projects. 

I The Telecommunications and Information 
■fl Infrasttucture Assistance Program (TIIAP) 
111 was established to help nonprofits use 
Ml advanced telecommunications and further the 
MJ development of the National Information 
]SM Infrastructure (Nil). According to Secretary of 
I Commerce Ronald H. Brown, these projects, 
Rfl all public private partnerships, "will serve as 
I catalysts for further developing the Nil by pro- 
viding models for communities throughout the 
nation to follow." TIIAP's stated objectives 
include "reinforcing the values of American 
democracy such as empowering citizens, promot- 
ing equal opportunity, protecting individuals' 
rights, and strengthening democratic institutions." 
Social, health care, and educational services 
got the bulk of the funding in last year's first 
round. A category the NTIA calls "Community 
Information" got the lion's share of the funding — 
27 grants for a total dollar amount of 
$7,377,504 — while health organizations received 
14 grants for a total of $4,61 1,446. Typical of the 
funded projects was a proposal submitted by the 
state of Alaska together with the state university, 
the K- 12 school system, public broadcasting and 
public libraries to integrate their networks and 




Look who's smiling now: Exec director Moira Rankin and 
director of technology Anna Maria de Freitas of D.C.'s 
Soundprint Media Center, recipients of a $109, 873 TIIAP 
grant. Courtesy Soundprint 

create a combined system accessible to 81 percent 
of Alaska residents. Similarly, the Michigan 
Association for Local Public Health proposed cre- 
ating a Michigan Public Health Information 
Network out of the scattered state and local 
health networks. In New Haven, Connecticut, the 
National Youth Center Electronic Network 
Project proposed linking youth centers across the 
country to improve delivery of youth programs, 
education, and training. 

In contrast to these community networking 
projects, arts otganizations fared less well. The two 
arts recipients were the Museum Computer 
Network in Silver Spring, Maryland, and 
Soundprint Media Center in Washington, DC. 
The Museum Computer Network was awarded 
$158,150 to create a multimedia resource of folk 
art collections. Soundprint received $109,873 to 
support planning of a nationwide network of audio 
and text-based information for public radio sta- 
tions, producers, and listeners. 

The arts and media arts were also included tan- 
gentially in a number of other funded projects. 
The Native American Public Broadcasting 
Consortium in Lincoln, Nebraska received 
$155,844 to link over 500 Native American tribal 
governments and provide tribal services in the 
areas of telemedicine, economic development, 
child care, education, cultural preservation, and 
government. That project will also assist the 
Museum of the American Indian in developing 
their "4th Museum" interactive cultural program. 
The San Francisco Public Library received 
$425,000 in partnership with several other city 
agencies, including the Arts Commission, to 
expand their on-line information services. 



24 THE INDEPENDENT April 19<r> 




NTIA Program 

Analyst Don Druker 
said that of the 1088 
applications, the 
NTIA did not re- 
ceive a large number 
of arts or media arts 
proposals and of 
those that were sub- 
mitted, the majority 
didn't address the 
guidelines in a way 
that made them 
competitive. Quite a 
few, he said, dealt 
with creating specif- 
ic arts projects. 
Other applicants 
tried to get funding 
to enhance their 
existing operations. 
Still others were rejected for technical reasons. 
"We are not funding content creation or internal 
operations — what we called closed networks," 
Druker said. "Arts organizations did not grasp the 
potential of the program." All applications were 
evaluated by a peer review panel of content and 
technical experts. 

Despite the inappropriateness of most of the 
arts proposals, Druker acknowledged that some of 
them were quite strong and that a number of these 
were eliminated on sheer competitive grounds. 
"The strong proposals," he said, "looked beyond 
their own organization to the community to devel- 
op and facilitate the exchange of resources." Next 
year, says Druker, "I hope arts organizations will 
look at the big picture. Networking is the key 
word. Networking is about the infrastructure, 
about getting people on-line, and providing on- 
line resources." 

TIIAP guidelines are currently being revised. 
For 1995, Congress has allocated $64 million, 
nearly three times the 1994 amount. However, on 
February 24 a recission bill was introduced into 
Congress aiming to cut that amount in half, to $32 
million, so 1995 funding levels are up in the air as 
this issue goes to press. The "notice of availability 
of funds" will be made early in February. 
Applications are expected to be due approximate- 
ly three months later. For the TIIAP information 
packet, call (202) 482-2048. 

Barbara Bliss Osborn 

Barbara Bliss Osbom writes on technology and inde- 
pendent media from Los Angeles. 

The Video Service Bureaus of 
the Future 

Imagine this: You want to make a 10-minute 
broadcast quality videotape. Your only equipment 



is a Hi8 camcorder and a computer with some 
consumer nonlinear editing software, most likely 
Adobe Premiere (for Mac or Windows) or AVID 
VideoShop. After shooting, you drop off your raw 
footage at a local video service bureau. 

A few hours later, you return to pick up a hard 
drive containing 1 to 5 gigabytes of memory and 
all your video footage, digitized at a very low reso- 
lution. You might end up with a couple of hours of 
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rented hard drive home, hook it up to your desk- 
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Postscript illustrations and fonts. You might add 
exciting transitional effects and use 8-bit or even 
16-bit MIDI audio engineering software on the 
soundtrack. All of this is done with the video at 
Quicktime resolution. If you were producing a 
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For a broadcast quality videotape, however, 
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video service bureau would then re-digitize 
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ond. The bureau would use the same sound- 
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They would use your Postscript fonts for char- 
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In a day or two, you would pick up the mas- 
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your original tapes. Basically, you would have 
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number of digital effects at various prices 
depending on computing complexity. If you wish, 
the original digitized Quicktime video could then 
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This is true desktop video. The only problem is 
that the video service bureau does not yet exist. 
When it does, it is going to revolutionize video in 
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R 



At this point in time, resolution is the funda- 
mental concern about nonlinear editing. Crude 
video composed of low frame rates and low resolu- 
tion can be manipulated on most high-end home 
computers. But to produce broadcast quality 
video, the computer needs massive processing and 
memory requirements outside the budget of the 
small producer. Furthermore, expensive video dig- 
itizing boards are needed to translate the analog 
signal to digital information and then shove this 
fat sludge in and out of the computer at the high 
speeds necessary to provide a glitch-free image. 
This kind of processing hardware is getting cheap- 
er, but it, and the requisite computer, still cost well 
over $15,000, and a complete system can cost as 
much as $100,000. So why not have one company 
provide access to this equipment in such a way 
that the end product is designed on your home 
computer and merely rebuilt somewhere else? 
The key to this rebuilding process is a com- 
ponent of these new software programs called 
"batch digitizing." The computer will redigitize 
at the highest resolution only that batch of 
clips used in your project. Using time code, 
even the RC time code found in consumer 
camcorders, the software can match up the 
original footage on tape with the digital images 
your project is composed of and capture what 
it needs at higher resolution 

By far the biggest obstacle to a video service 
bureau at this point is compatibility. It's all very 
easy to take one computer system like the 
Macintosh or one video card and limit the ser- 
vice bureau to that, but that's no longer 
enough. Though the Macintosh has been the 
platform where the most impressive desktop 
video has traditionally been available, that is 
changing. New, powerful boards for PCs are 
coming onto the market. Apple has made their 
Quicktime available for Windows, where it 
competes with Microsoft's AVI video format, 
"Microsoft for Windows." And Adobe has also 
released their Premiere 4.0 for Windows. A video 
service bureau must be able to work with all these 
different platforms and be able to read all the dif- 
ferent compression/decompression algorithms 
(CODECs) used by the different boards. 
(CODECs compress the signal to a manageable 
size when digitizing.) 

Hopefully we will see this revolution in desktop 
video take place in the next couple years. The 
power of nonlinear editing is too great to keep it in 
the hands of high-end video production houses 
and broadcast companies. The video service 
bureau will provide everyone with that access. 
Independents want to share in the fun, too. 

George Fifield 

George Fifield (gwf(<i tiac.net) is adjunct media arts 

curator at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park 

m Lincoln, Massachusetts, and video curator (or The 

Space in Boston. He is a member of the Desktop Video 

Group and edits their newsletter, Focus Video. 



E 



26 THE INDEPENDENT April 1995 



Many of the ideas for this article come from the Desktop 

Video Group, an educational organization focusing on 

desktop video and multimedia authoring m Cambridge, 

MA. Besides the author, Bob and Holly Doyle, Leo 

Cierpial, Jeff Sauer, and other DVG members are all 

working to identify and resolve the technical problems 

mentioned. DVG can be reached at (617) 876-8080. 

Women On-Line 



The Lab, a 10 year-old interdisciplinary arts orga- 
nization in San Francisco, presents the third annu- 
al Conference on Feminist Activism and Art. This 
year's conference, to be held April 7 to 9, will 
focus "on those processes by which women-cen- 
tered communities and information systems are 
formed, with respect to both traditional communi- 
ties and new networks sustained through interac- 
tive technology." Items on the agenda include 
information on relevant on-line projects; CD- 
ROM info; access stations; and technical/ 
activist/artistic resources. 

Appropriately, plans for the conference at 
press time highlight a number of technologi- 
cal-community aspects, listed below: 

• A World Wide Web site on the Internet, 
which will provide a comprehensive overview 
of the conference, including participants, 
organizers, and topics discussed. A messaging 
center will be available for people to respond 
to the Web page. 

• The creation of a permanent networking 
system for cultural activists interested in femi- 
nist activism and art. Through this network, 
artists and activists could send information 
quickly and inexpensively to a diverse group of 
people who do not all have direct access to the 
Internet. Existing communications systems 
like fax, radio, print, clubs, and organizations 
would be integrated into this network. 

• The creation of a Virtual Conference, 
which will extend discussion on issues raised at 
the conference to people unable to attend, 
and create a yearlong, ongoing dialogue. 

Other features include a curated CD-ROM 
exhibit and a video screening room for the confer- 
ence site. 

For more information on conference partici- 
pants and programs, or for updated information on 
its online section, contact: The Lab, 1807 
Divisadero St., San Francisco; (415) 346-4063; 
fax: (415) 346-4567. 



AivFflN(gLiNe 

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FEMINISiM AND 

Narrative Pleasure in 
New Women's Cinema 

By Laurie Ouellette 





Mother. Daughter, and Baby Grand, all abeach in Jane Campion's THE PIAHO. Courtesy Miramax 



» THE INDEPENDENT April 1993 



What constitutes a feminist film in the 
1990s? I found myself pondering that 
question halfway through The Piano, 
Jane Campion's lush and eerily 
disturbing period film about a 
Scottish woman transplanted to nineteenth century 
New Zealand. On one level, the strong feminist 
undertones were hard to miss: Here was a story 
about an unwed mother so silenced by a patriarchal 
culture of arranged marriages, domesticity, and male 
dominance that she literally does not speak. At the 
same time, Campion's adoption of Hollywood con- 
ventions long mistrusted by feminist film theorists — 
a traditional narrative structure, realist aesthetics, 
an emphasis on romance, and a happy ending — left 
me wondering whether Campion felt any allegiance toward feminism and 
its critiques of Hollywood. While thinking this, I also found myself taking 
pleasure in the very conventions that feminists criticized, as did many 
others: The Piano grossed $65.5 million in box office receipts, making it 
one of the most successful films ever made by an independent female 
director. This fact makes the tension between theory and practice — 
specifically, between feminist film theory and feature films written and 
directed by women — appear all the more significant. 

Campion is only one of a growing number of female directors who are 
negotiating feminism, along with other political and social issues, within 
the conventions and structures of popular narrative filmmaking. The suc- 
cess of directors like Allison Anders, Nancy Savoca, Darnell Martin, 
Kayo Hatta, Maria Maggenti, Mina Shum, Stacey Cochran, Tamra Davis, 
Leslie Harris, Julie Dash, Rebecca Miller, and Rose Troche (among many 
others) in recent years suggests the emergence of a viable independent 
women's cinema, one that is decidedly different from the experimental 
and "deconstructive" cinema advocated by early feminist film theory. 
Since the latter approach never generated audiences outside a tiny circle 
of feminist intellectuals, one could take the success of today's women 
directors as an incentive to pause and reappraise the thorny relationship 
between feminism and feature filmmaking. 

The split between convention and experimentation can be traced back 
to the 1970s, when feminist theorists — many of whom were also inde- 
pendent filmmakers — applied psychoanalytic and structuralist theories to 
the study of gender representation in film. In her extremely influential 
1974 essay "Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema," Laura Mulvey pro- 
posed that it wasn't only the content, but the very form of classical 
Hollywood film that was oppressive to women. Since the actions of male 
characters always advanced the narrative and framed the perspective of 
the viewer, she argued, pleasure in narrative cinema was inherently a 
male pleasure. For female spectators, forced to participate in endless 
voyeuristic fantasies about female characters, watching these films was 
nothing short of contributing to their own oppression. 

It followed from this gloomy situation that in order to challenge both 
Hollywood film and the sexist assumptions upon which it was founded, 
women would also have to change the forms of representation. "If 
women's cinema is going to emerge, it should not only concern itself with 
substituting positive female protagonists or focusing on women's prob- 
lems," wrote theorist Claire Johnston in an early argument for a feminist 




counter-cinema. "It has to go much further it it is to impinge 
on consciousness." Theorists like Johnston believed neither 
realist documentaries nor narrative films could truly subvert 
the hidden mechanisms of patriarchal ideologies. 
To do that, films by women would require a revo- 
lutionary counter-aesthetic, one that revealed 
how film itself operates as a signifying practice. 

Many independent feminist filmmakers have 
experimented with a variety of alternative aesthet- 
ics — nonlinear narrative, unconventional editing, 
lack of closure, etc. — in attempts to encourage 
audiences to notice and question mechanisms of 
representation. Yet more often than not, these 
strategies have emphasized intellectual decoding 
skills over accessible popular pleasures, thereby 
alienating most audiences. Indeed, some feminist film theorists have 
come forward to challenge the class biases of counter-aesthetics. Jane 
Gaines, for instance, has argued in the film journal jump Cut that the 
taste for such films is an acquired one, gained though education and priv- 
ilege. She notes that women filmmakers who recognize these biases, 
including working-class women and women of color, have mostly chosen 
not to produce media work that strays from conventional formats and 
calls attention to its own structural devices. 

Recent feminist film theory has devoted even more attention to the 
limitations of overly theoretical and psychoanalytic views of feature film- 
making, especially in terms of female pleasure. Some theorists have 
argued that Mulvey 's model of female spectatorship posits women as cul- 
tural dopes, while ignoring the lesbian viewing experience completely. 
Others have pointed to the more complex negotiations women viewers 
undertake when making sense of Hollywood films. But few theorists are 
focusing on the new wave of independent feature films by women and 
considering their feminist possibilities. While these films should not be 
lumped together as essentially female-oriented or feminist because they 
happen to be directed by women, neither should they be viewed as indi- 
vidual "success stories" outside the cumulative history of women's film- 
making. Women feature directors exploring women's issues across race, 
class, and sexuality are creating a popular aesthetic that, for all its diver- 
sity, shares some powerful strategies and continuities. 



One reason feminist film theory has paid scant attention to 
women's feature filmmaking is that, until relatively 
recently, features directed by women were practically 
nonexistent. According to a 1991 study by the Directors 
Guild of America (DGA), only 14 feature films were 
directed by women guild members between 1940 to 1980. That figure has 
improved somewhat since then. In 1990 alone, women directed 11 fea- 
ture films, slightly more than five percent of the 207 features that were 
produced that year. By 1994, women comprised 20 percent of the DGA, 
yet a significantly disproportionate number held jobs as second assistants 
rather than directors. The success of blockbuster directors like Penny- 
Marshall and Martha Coolidge may be one reason doors are beginning to 
open a crack for women in mainstream filmmaking. But the most innov- 



Aptil 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 29 



The bride 

takes 

five: 

Annabella 

Sciorra in 

Nancy 

Savoca's 

True 

Love, a 
not- 

quite- 
rosy look 

at the 
wedding 

ritual. 

Courtesy 
MGM/UA 



ative work comes from the independent scene, where female directors are 
less pressured to prove profitability and freer to emphasize the perspec- 
tives and experiences of a diversity of women. Outside the rules of 
Hollywood, they are also freer to explore — and sometimes subvert — the 
gendered aspects of conventional feature filmmaking. 

Sometimes women directors turn the tables on male-dominated gen- 
res to emphasize the position of women in a patriarchal society. In her 
dark comedy M;y New Gun (1992), Stacey Cochran explores the confused 
universe of Debbie, a 
New Jersey housewife 
imprisoned within her 
subdivision. When 
her domineering hus- 
band buys her a pearl- 
handled revolver, the 
gun becomes a cata- 
lyst for a series of 
events, including an 
unlikely affair with a 
kind but seedy neigh- 
borhood boy named 
Skippy. She finally 
divorces her husband 
and the yuppie 
lifestyle he represents, 
but the focus is not 
Debbie's awakening 
and "liberation." 

Alongside subtle 

pokes at marriage and 
upper-class consum- 
erism, what Cochran 
mimics in her seem- 
ingly random plot is 
the deep ambivalence 
that keeps women in 
prescribed situations 
long after feminism 
has allegedly set them 
free. 

In Guncrazy 

(1992), Tamra Davis 
subverts the film noir 
genre by focusing on 
the experiences and 
emotions of a female 
character. Fifteen- 
year-old Anita lives in 

a gritty world of substandard trailer homes, sexual abuse, and emotional 
turmoil rarely visited by Hollywood. Abandoned by her prostitute moth- 
er and sexually abused by men since early childhood, she falls in love with 
an impotent convicted murderer and eventually joins him on a killing 
spree. Violence and sexual promiscuity permeate the film, but the social 
origins and gendered connotations of Anita's troubled behavior are 
always emphasized. Her first kill, for instance, is her mother's repugnant 
boyfriend, who rapes Anita and is shot by her immediately afterward. 

There is also a morality to the film that is lacking in violent Hollywood 
films and even independent cult hits like Pulp Fiction. In one scene, for 






example, Anita prevents the murder of a social worker who has snubbed 
her as "white trash" and threatened to jail her boyfriend, because Anita 
happens to be friends with his daughter and doesn't want to see her friend 
fatherless. Even the complexities of the mise-en-scene suggest the eye of 
a woman director. Davis deliberately did not dress Anita like a stereotyp- 
ical "tart" because, she explains, "Girls who are sexually abused and 
messed up generally hide themselves more. They can be plain and dowdy 
and overweight." 

Is Guncrazy a fem- 
inist film? Despite 
its heady subject 
matter, Davis says 
the film is really a 
"love story." "I 
wanted to make a 
film that told a 
very straightfor- 
ward story, tech- 
nically and narra- 
tively. Guncrazy 
isn't an esoteric 
and arty film; it's a 
populist love 

story. Anita repre- 
sented so many 
things: how soci- 
ety abandoned 
this young girl, 
allowed her to be 
abused by men, 
gave her guns," 
she says. "This 
boy was the only 
one who accepted 
her for who she 
was, who loved 
her for reasons 
other than sex. I 
wanted to make a 
love story to show 
how people like 
this would do the 
things they do, to 
make you sympa- 
thize with these 
characters and 
realize that if their 
situations had 
been different, they would have been different. They didn't have control 
over their lives, and they used what they knew: violence." 

Other women, like Allison Anders, director of Gas Food Lodging 
(1991) and Mi Vida Loca (1993), have adopted and re -worked the genre 
known as the "woman's film." Anders has little interest in what she calls 
the "masculine" model of filmmaking, with its three-act structure that 
sets out goals and resolves things. For her, the decision to work in the 
genre she calls "melodrama" is part of a conscious effort to redefine film- 
making from a female perspective. "Men see life in terms of goals, and 
they either succeed or fail in reaching those goals," she says when discus- 





30 THE INDEPENDENT April 1995 



suing her approach to Gas Food Lodging, a story about a truck-stop wait- 
ress and her two teenage daughters. "Women might set goals, hut by the 
time they get to them, everything has already changed. They move for- 
ward through process and instinct. It makes a difference in how you tell 
a story." 

As its title might suggest, Gas Food Lodging explores the interior worlds 
of women who aren't going anywhere, except perhaps to their low-paying 
restaurant jobs off the interstate and back home to the trailer 
park. The gritty realism of fathers who walk out, screaming 
fights at home, teenage pregnancy, money shortages, packaged 
macaroni and cheese dinners, and empty tampon boxes presents 
a nuanced portrait of female working-class life that is practical- 
ly invisible in Hollywood. It also suggests the eye of someone 
who has been there herself, and Anders, who raised two children 
alone and has been on welfare, clearly has. Yet despite the gen- 
der and class issues foregrounded by the film, Anders insists that 
the real story is the "territory of a woman's heart." 

Men are an especially 
obsessive theme, although 
the relationship between 
the sexes is more troubled 
than rewarding. While the 
mother, Nora, settles for 
an incompetent lover, the 
youngest daughter, Shade, 
pines for recognition from 
the father who abandoned 
her as a child. The oldest 
daughter, Trudi, is sexually 
promiscuous because she 
has been gang raped as a 
child; when she finds 
someone who respects her 
and sees her as something 
other than the town slut, 
he disappears and is killed. 
While Anders' own auto- 
biographical experience 

brings a layer of gendered realism to these scenarios (she frequently dis- 
cusses her own childhood and gang rape in interviews), she has insisted 
that men don't "take a beating" in the film. 

"I didn't want to do that. I have my own demons like any other 
female. ..but I don't find those are my best qualities," she told New York 
Newsday. "Someone had a project they were considering for me, a story 
about a woman avenging a rape; really hard-edged stuff. I couldn't do it, 
'cause I knew it would bring out the worst in me. ..It would be unwatch- 
able for people, anyway." Anders, who calls herself a "humanist filmmak- 
er," hopes that male audiences will respond to her work, even though 
female characters and their emotions propel the narrative. She says she 
once saw a man come out of Gas Food Lodging with tears streaming down 
his face. For Anders, that kind of male reaction is among the most grati- 
fying and subversive consequences of her films. 

While Hollywood "women's films" are almost always about white 
women, a number of independent directors are using the genre to explore 
the gendered experiences of ethnicity and race. In Mi Vida Loca, Anders 
explores the world of teenage mothers in her own Los Angeles Chicana 
neighborhood. Unlike most gang movies, this film depicts the impact of 
drug culture and drive -by violence on the fiercely independent girls who 




have to fend for themselves and their children when their male counter- 
parts are getting killed, maimed, and put into jail at an increasingly young 
age. "The Chicano culture hasn't had much attention or validation as a 
whole, and there hasn't been any focus on the women," Anders told the 
Los Angeles Times. "There's still this macho thing that says the hardcore 
is in the boy's story. Well, this is about girls getting pregnant at 1 3 and get- 
ting thrown out of their homes, and that's hardcore to me." 

Based on a real incident Anders learned about from her daugh- 
ter, the film explores the lives of girlfriends Sad Girl and Mousie, 
who become pregnant by the same hoy and then become arch- 
enemies. When the boy is killed, the girls eventually come 
together to share the burden of raising children alone. Once 
again, the strength of this film is its gritty realism and emphasis 
on female bonding. Anders spent two years researching the lives 
of female gang members to get an accurate feel for their lives and 
used a number of them as actors. What is the goal of a film like 
Mi Vida Local "My hope is that it humanizes these girls. ..and 

boys, too, so that when 
people walk down the 
street they don't think 
there's nothing valu- 
able about their experi- 
ence," Anders told the 
Los Angeles Times. "I 
hope [audiences] real- 
ize there are stories in 
every single one of 
them." 

Director Nancy 
Savoca has emphasized 
the lives and cultures of 
Italian American wom- 
en in a number of dark 
dramas. In True Love 
(1989), the underside 
of the wedding ritual is 
presented through the 
eyes of a disillusioned 
working-class Italian woman in the Bronx. In the more recent Household 
Samts (1993), the everyday rituals of food preparation and religious wor- 
ship across three generations of women in Little Italy are backdrop to a 
complex portrait of gender and sexism in Catholic culture. Loving, lavish 
close-up photography of Italian cooking and women's daily shopping and 
cleaning rituals suggest both the importance and confinement of these 
activities for women. Her motivation in making the film, she explained 
during an interview on National Public Radio, was that "I always won- 
dered what the women did when they stayed behind [in the house]." 

Most audiences have seen Italian American culture through the eyes 
of male directors. The filmed worlds of Scorsese and Coppola, for 
instance, revolve around a male society in which women are peripheral 
players or props. But "the women are the ones who really hold all the 
details of the family trees and the history of the family and hand it down," 
says Savoca. In her films, women are also the ones who bet tor marriage 
in pinochle games, the ones who deliver the babies and mind their man- 
ners around their husbands, the ones who deeply internalize religious 
myths, and the ones who go quietly crazy. We come to know these women 
intimately because, as with the other films discussed here, female actions 
and emotions propel the cycles and flow of the narrative. Certainly 



April 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 31 



Driving the 

narrative: 

Ariyan 

Johnson and 

Kevin 

Thigpen in 

Leslie 

Harris' JUST 

ANOTHER 

GIRL ON THE 

IRT 

Courtesy 
Miramax 



Household Saints emphasizes female themes, but is it 
feminist.' Savoca has expressed discomfort with 
Hollywood's treatment of women in published inter- 
views, but she doesn't promote her work with that 
label. 

Other women who choose to work in popular for- 
mats are more explicit in their views. "I'm not afraid 
of the word feminist. It really defines my work," says 
Kayo Hatta, director of Picture Bride, a "women's 
story" about the experiences of Japanese brides 



specifically made for the 18-year-old girl who was once me, who had to 
deal with family pressures and patriarchal pressures to be something else." 
Is the director comfortable with the label of "feminist"? "Sure, I'm femi- 
nist, if it means that anything you can have, I can have," says Shum. 

African American women's culture has also been successfully explored 
over the past several years by feature directors. In her romantic drama I 
Like it Like That (1994), Darnell Martin — the first female African 
American director to be backed by a major studio — explores barrio cul- 
ture from the perspective of Black and Hispanic women. Although 
Columbia Pictures gave her $5 million to direct her own script, the film 



-m 




brought to Hawaii at the turn of the century. She says that the women 
explored in her film, while not "feminists" by today's standards, are 
nonetheless powerful female role models. "They embodied strength and 
independence and self-respect, against incredible social and cultural 
odds. Japanese society is very chauvinistic." 

In her romantic comedy Double Happiness, first-time director Mina 
Shum explores the daily life of an aspiring Chinese-Canadian actress 
whose biggest problem is that she must choose between a handsome 
Chinese lawyer her father has fixed her up with and a white university 
studnet. "I felt it was important to create a new type of female hero," says 
Shum. "One who's smart, irreverent, got her shit down, but is also vul- 
nerable to her heart and ambitions." Because young women "need role 
models right now," Shum also felt it was crucial to make her film accessi- 
ble to a wide audience, especially young women. "[Double Happiness] is 



has independent sensibilities for a variety of reasons, including its autobi- 
ographical perspective. Based roughly on Martin's own childhood in the 
projects of the Bronx, the story unfolds through the eyes of Lisette, a 
young mother whose traditional role is challenged when her husband 
lands in jail and she is left to take care of her three kids. The nuances of 
the themes explored — interracial tension, machismo, family violence, 
sexual harassment, and a longing for an inaccessible commodity cul- 
ture — reflect the experience of someone who knows barrio life 
intimately. 

Despite the complexity of these issues, Martin takes a down-to-earth 
approach to her filmmaking. "You don't need great actors or a great direc- 
tor to make a movie," she says. "You just need a story with characters ycu 
understand and can talk to." While Martin focuses on some of the most 
impoverished and invisible women in America today, she also keeps the 



32 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 99E 



story decidedly upbeat. There is a deep strength and dignity to her char- 
acters and a bit of American Dream mythology, too. Penniless, Lisette 
somehow lands a job as an assistant to a Manhattan record producer who 
drives a Lamborghini; she quickly moves up the company ladder, much to 
the shock of her family and neighbors. Do fantasy solutions to women's 
problems distract from the gender and racial issues raised by the film? 
Perhaps, but tor cultures who have been denied access to the Horatio 
Alger myth, the act of reclaiming it on screen is understandably pleasur- 
able. And whatever one makes of "make-good" endings, Martin's film, 
which grossed $5.5 million in eight weeks, drew audiences. 

Leslie Harris' just Another Girl on the IRT (1993) was among the tirst 
commercially-released feature films to show young Black women as some- 
thing other than appendages to men. The story evolves through the eyes 
of Chantel, a spirited 17-year-old homegirl from the projects who gets 
straight As and plans to go to college. When Chantel accidentally gets 
pregnant, she is unable to make a decision about the baby. She uses her 
smarts only for the immediate problem — hiding her pregnancy — and pro- 
crastinates until she finds herselt in labor. She makes some serious, imma- 
ture fumbles — as in the scene when she and her best girl- 
friend go on a clothes shopping spree with the money her 
boyfriend gave her for an abortion. But ultimately 
Chantel lands on her feet. Throughout, the director 
non-judgmentally exposes Chantel's ways of thinking, 
including her initial impulse to abandon her newborn 
baby, allowing the audience to understand and 
empathize with this young, conflicted teen. Strong 
themes of female solidarity, materialism, and inner-city 
life result in a complex and vivid portrait of the charac- 
ter's culture. 

Harris' strong commitment to her subjects is one 
shared by a number of women directors. To capture the 
intimacies of life for urban girls of color, she spent two 
years interviewing teens contacted through women's 
health and reproductive centers, learning about their 
experiences, relationships, emotions, world views, and 
trying to understand how girls today, with information 
about birth control so readily accessible, can still be so 
misinformed as to half-believe a soft-drink douche after 
sex will kill those nasty sperm, as one character profess- 



explains. "It was important to show that a young woman who becomes 
pregnant doesn't have to be destined for welfare or be a marked woman; 
she is a human being who had a baby early, but she went on with her life." 

Harris speaks about just Another Girl at high schools and universities 
across the country, and says the film can be inspirational tor young peo- 
ple facing problems that can seem "like the end of the world." She is cau- 
tious about calling it a feminist film, however, because she feels the term 
can be so narrowly prescribed. "The film has some feminist elements to it, 
but it is also a film that. ..has emotions anyone can relate to, male or 
female," she says. "Feminism is a compliment to the film, if that means we 
have a young woman who is making choices about her life and that's what 
feminism means to her. But some people feel the word excludes men, and 
that is a detriment." 

In her film Daughters of the Dust (1991), Julie Dash explores the matri- 
archal Gullah Sea Island culture through a lyrical style and leisurely pace 
that she says is geared toward women. Some of the most beautiful scenes 
are lavish depictions of women's rituals, including food gathering and 
preparation. "Very few men would have a huge food scene, because they 



"I felt it was important to 

create a new type of 

female hero* One who's 

smart, irreverent, got her 

shit down, but is also vul- 

nerable to her heart and 

ambitions." — Mina Shum 



What she ultimately found was that many girls felt 
their stories weren't important — a phenomenon she par- 
tially attributes to the lack of representation of African 
American women. "I wanted to give voice to these young women," Harris 
explains. "They don't see their stories on screen, so they don't feel they 
are validated in some ways. Women should see themselves not just as arm 
pieces of a guy. They should have aspirations." 

Despite the difficulties in doing so, Harris says it was important to "go 
against the grain" of most women in independent filmmaking, who are 
"pigeonholed into documentary." She wanted to present her story as a 
narrative feature with a female perspective and female characters who 
were human and realistic. "Chantel wasn't the stereotypically good girl or 
bad girl, but was complex," Harris notes. "Women in film are usually one- 
dimensional, but she was more of a human being — vibrant, intelligent, 
and very opinionated." The ending of the film, which finds Chantel in a 
community college while she cares for her baby, is for Harris an important 
counterpoint to some dominant myths about inner-city teenage mother- 
hood. "I wanted to show that her self-esteem was still intact," she 



didn't sit at the feet of people cutting up onions, listening to them talk," 
she explained in the Village Voice. Dash also owes a debt to the kind of 
oral-based narrative structure she admires in Black women writers, such 
as Toni Morrison, Toni Cade Bambara, and Alice Walker, and she feels 
her aesthetic is accessible, especially to women. Responding to criticism 
to the contrary, she told the Voice, "It clearly frightens most white males, 
and they are the ones who get to say what kind of audience is out there 
for Daughters of the Dust. They don't understand it for the most part, and 
don't want to say they don't, so they say it's not good, or it's not well craft- 
ed, or the dramatic themes were spotty." 

While directors like Dash emphasize the differences between men and 
women in their aesthetics and subject matter, others are trying to present 
the notion that gender (and all the assumptions about sexuality that go 
with it) is a socially-constructed and regulated category. In her romantic 
comedy Go Fish (1994), Rose Troche presents a lesbian love story that 



April 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 33 



counters the dominant heterosexuality of women's film. Exploiting the 
realist conventions of the Hollywood romance, while adding some more 
formally experimental touches, Troche presents a touching and funny 
"girl meets girl" story about lesbian 
desire that opens up the pleasures of 
narrative film for women audiences. 

Maria Maggenti embraces similar 
strategies in her lesbian comedy, The 
Incredible Adventures of Two Girls in 
Love. The film presents the tale of 
two suburban high school girls who 
fall for each other, but not without 
complication. One girl is a white, 
out, rock 'n' roller who works at a 
gas station and lives in a chaotic 
household of lesbians, while the 
other is a black, Mozart-loving, pop- 
ular new girl in town. Maggenti, who 
has a long history in grassroots video 
activism and AIDS-related docu- 
mentaries, felt it was politically 
important to take her story of two 
girls in love to a much wider audi- 
ence. "I chose to do a commercial 
narrative picture not only because of 
my sensibility, but because I wanted 
the so-called general public to see 
it," says Maggenti. "I wanted to say 
this happens everywhere, in the 
'normal' world and with 'normal' 
kids. If this could reach teenagers in 
malls, we'd really have an incredible 
experience." 

In her 1993 film adaptation of Virginia Woolfe's novel Orlando, Sally 
Potter subverted not only heterosexuality, but the notion of gender itself. 
Potter collapses distinctions between male and female by presenting 400 
years of history though the eyes of an androgynous and sexually ambigu- 
ous character. First male and then female, Orlando receives treatment in 
society according to the social constructs of each gender, neither of which 
seems to have anything to do with the true nature of his/her personhood. 
As a man, for instance, Orlando is unwilling to participate in wars and 
senseless killing. As a woman, she is unwilling to settle into her "proper" 
role by marrying, thereby sacrificing all material possessions. Despite 
astute social commentary playing here, Potter's story is also entertaining 
and engaging. Indeed, Orlando marks a populist turn for the filmmaker, 
who earned her reputation as a feminist filmmaker by producing short 
experimental films, including Thriller (1979), a deconstruction of the 
19th century opera La Boheme. 

Is Orlando a feminist film? Potter suggests the label does not ade- 
quately capture the ideas about gender she is trying to get across. In an 
interview in the Village Voice, she insisted that Orlando should not be con- 
structed as a statement exclusively about the role of women: "[Orlando] 
strengthens women in many ways. But it has touched a nerve in men. 
One of the things we're saying here is that men and women have far more 
in common than we've imagined, that the differences between us have 
been grossly exaggerated and made the basis for huge pain, grief, and mis- 
ery. Women have difficult lives, but men have difficult lives too." 




n the 1970s, when arguments 
for a feminist counter-cinema 
were first developed, women 
were virtually excluded from 
the feature filmmaking enterprise. From 
that position, it was imperative to learn 
ways to dismantle Hollywood's power to 
shape ideologies about sexuality and 
gender. But as today's women's cinema 
suggests, the pleasures audiences get 
from narrative films are not so easily dis- 
mantled — nor should they be. 

From myths and folk tales to urban 
legends and melodramas, stories have 
always played an important role in all 
cultures, for both sexes. But outside the 
oral tradition, women's stories have 
been overshadowed (or told) by men. 
This has been even more the case in film 
than in literature. In her work on the 
history of women's involvement in film- 
making, Barbara Koenig Quart has 
noted that women directors, virtually 
phased out of the early film industry 
with the advent of sound, never had the 
opportunity to move from silence to 
speech. Only recently have women 
directors gained a voice in feature film- 
making, thereby bringing untold stories 
to the screen, ones that explore and validate women's experiences, cul- 
tures, sexualities, and emotions. 

Is the new independent women's cinema a feminist cinema? The 
answer is in the eye of the beholder. If the word "feminism" has been 
opened up by women who challenged the white, middle-class focus of the 
early feminist movement, it has also been stigmatized by a reactionary 
conservative backlash. Whether or not they choose to accept the label of 
"feminist filmmaker," today's independent women directors are bringing 
a range of feminist issues to the screen. Moreover, their films negotiate 
feminist insights alongside experiences of class, race, and sexuality — just 
as real women do. While they don't purport to solve women's immediate 
problems, directors working to reclaim the power of narrative pleasure are 
engaging women in far greater numbers than the usual audiences for 
more experimental feminist films. And for that reason, they may be far 
more successful at subverting patriarchal assumptions than all feminist 
ventures into experimental and deconstructive cinema to date. However 
useful feminist film theory has been for theorists, it has never been able 
to deliver hope, validation, and pleasure to the vast majority of women. 
As Jane Campion once said, explaining her decision to ignore her own 
academic training in deconstructive semiotics, "Being able to pull things 
apart is not the same as knowing how to put them together." 

Laurie Ouellettc writes about feminism, media, and popular culture for the 

alternative press. She is completing a Ph.D. in Communication/Cultural Studies 

at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. 



34 THE INDEPENDENT April 1993 



THERE'S NO BUSINESS 
AT SHOWBIZ 

' JL H& 1995 Shcn^JBez: Ex£x> East 




By Mitch Albert 

Who doesn't love a good trade show? All that 
sleazy hawking, the eyeing over of colleagues/ 
competition, the air kissing, hand clasping, biz 
card switching, dining and whining.... Well, 
alright, trade shows are generally carefully con- 
structed orgies of self-importance, where flea mar- 
ket mentalities masquerade as the Bazaar of 
Dreams, hut hey, that's showbiz. 

And that was Showbiz Expo East, held for the 
fourth time in as many years last January 5 to 7 at 
the New York Hilton and Towers. 

There was no compelling reason for an inde- 
pendent mediamaker to attend the 1995 Expo. To 
begin with, precious few panels or merchandise 
was targeted at independents. The exceptions 
included mike 'n' podium events like the New 
York University-sponsored panel, "Get Real: 
Writing, Producing, and Directing the 
Documentary," and the Independent Feature 
Project (IFP)-hosted panel, "Producing a Feature 
Film: East Coast Style," during which successful 
independent producers like Larry Meistrich (Laws 
of Gravity, New jersey Drive) and Dean Silvers 
(Spanking the Monkey), among others, fielded a 
highly specific and eclectic batch of questions 
from novice feature filmmakers. 

Another panel that seemed like it might have 
offered something specifically for independents 
was the four-hour "Legal Affairs for the 
Independent Producer," with a full range of topics 
(acquisition, finance, production, distribution). 
There were interesting info-nuggets to be gleaned, 
particularly on issues of intellectual property and 
the libel-flirting boundaries of parody. But they 
were useful only insofar as an independent could 
compare his or her situation to that of the major 
players; the issues seemed largely relevant to deep- 
pocketed biz types. In the words of Darryl Byers, 
an NYU graduate looking to scare up funds for his 
first feature, the conference was "a role-playing 
game" for independents of his financial caliber. "I 
could pretend that I'm actually concerned about 
Japanese distribution, or getting working visas [for 
overseas shooting], or hiring Keanu Reeves," he 
said, referring to some topics covered by the panel. 




The huddled masses of Showbiz Expo at one of the con- 
vention's only real indie-relevant panel, "Producing a 
Feature Film: East Coast Style." 

Photo: Steve Sands, courtesy Advanstar Expositions 



"But come on, I'm here to get the dope on basic 
legal stuff to shoot a low-budget local feature." 
One related Expo offering of value — at least to 
those whose powers of verbal concision were up to 
speed — was the chance to ask one question during 
a consultation (limited to 10 minutes) with an 
attorney from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. 
However, the VLA "Legal Drop-In Center" was 
open for only six hours during the three-day 
event. 

Upstairs were the toys— a mind-blistering array 
of gadgetry to remind the observer of the techno- 
logical hurricane we're living through. For an 
independent mediamaker used to thinking of a 
wireless lavalier microphone as the highest-grade 
equipment available for the money at hand, the 
industry exhibits were a beggar's feast, showcasing 
digital film wizardry, advanced lighting systems, 
fluid-directional camera mounts that sculpt air, 
and the absolute LATEST! in cameras and acces- 
sories. 

The main floor was occupied by various state 
film commissions shilling for their respective Back 
40s as the perfect locations for any project. The 
International Documentary Association had a 
booth, as did the IFR There were various stock- 
footage libraries, of interest to those who required 
one. Expo-goers could browse books at the stands 
of film-related publishers, or watch Steadicams 
being demonstrated at the far end of the hall. 

All told, it was a trade show like any other, the 



Industry wooing the Industry with bells, whistles, 
hype, promises, and Gadget Envy. 

Despite all the future-speak, it was still a film- 
oriented party. Canon had a booth displaying one- 
chip cameras, but there wasn't much else in evi- 
dence that related to video rigs, even at the broad- 
cast level. The fact that video artists received no 
acknowledgement at all is one of the Expo's most 
serious omissions. 

If you could afford the price of admission, 
which ranged from $35 for exhibition-hall entry to 
$205 for the whole ball of wax (parking extra), or 
managed to get a hold of a free pass, the Expo was 
undoubtedly stimulating in small ways. You might 
have paused to consider that North Carolina 
would be a better location for your film than the 
one you had in mind; or you might have picked up 
the Creative Industry Handbook for continent-wide 
resource listings; or you could have compared 
prices, all at once, for various snippets of stock 
footage. And if you weren't previously clued in, 
you certainly would have been forced to realize 
that digital editing has arrived, and it behooves 
the recalcitrant mediamaker to learn the basics. 
But these are hardly urgent inducements to 
attend. 

Perhaps the outlook of the Expo, insofar as 
independents were concerned, was summed up by 
its choice of keynote speaker for the Film 6k TV 
track. That role was played by Fred Zollo, produc- 
er of Quiz Show, The Music of Chance, and Naked 
in New York (among a slew of other films). Zollo's 
bent is nominally "independent", but there are 
degrees. Zollo seems to epitomize the commercial 
film industry's concept of an East Coast indepen- 
dent: an unconventional rake who navigates the 
mainstream with fluidity, able to merge with the 
majors and still produce an unlikely film from time 
to time. No reason to have any truck with that, 
but the definition leaves shivering on the 
doorsteps everyone from camcorder documentary 
guerillas to struggling proto-Spikes. We all know 
that independents live on the margins; but it 
would be gratifying to discover at least a niche 
within a high-profile affair like Showbiz Expo. 

Much Albert, The Independent's editorial assistant, 
last wrote about solo shooting in the March issue. 



April 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 35 




he camera is running, and a boom mic dips 
into the frame. Then the focus is off. Street noise 
disrupts the next shot. The actors start fumbling 
their lines. The camera isn't running, and the 
actors tap into a special memory and pull out a 
stunning performance. 

Welcome to the world of independent film, as 
brought to you by cinematographer-turned-direc- 
tor Tom DiCillo in his latest feature, Living in 
Oblivion. This film-about-a-film — in this case, a 
no-budget, downtown-hip, independent produc- 
tion — is a comic homage to the technical snafus, 
clashing egos, libidinous pursuits, and moments of 
pure, existential despair that constitute the reality 
of shoestring production. It's a world of head- 
banging frustrations and stalemates between neo- 
phyte directors and big-name actors. Chad 
Palomino (played with relish by a blonde, tanned 
James LeGros) turns out to be inept, arrogant, and 
stunningly stupid in his "suggestions" to the direc- 
tor. 

Living in Oblivion couldn't have found a more 
sympathetic audience than the crowd at the sev- 

36 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 995 



enteenth annual Sundance Film Festival, which 
took place in Park City, Utah, from January 19 to 
29. So many of the filmmakers had stories that 
rivaled those in DiCillo's farce. 

Take Edward Burns. While shooting his first 
feature, The Brothers McMuHen, production 
stopped when his appendix had to come out. 
Then coproducer/cameraman Dick Fisher threw 
his back out. With only $15,000 raised towards 
production (mostly from his father, a police 
sergeant), Burns shot on the cheap — meaning on 
weekends at his parents' house. But every time he 
pushed the wrap date back — from Thanksgiving, 
to Christmas, then Easter, stretching on for eight 
months — he risked losing his unpaid actors and 
crew to other jobs. 

Then there's Kayo Hatta. When developing 
Picture Bride, her drama about the Japanese brides 
who were brought to Hawaii, their marital match- 
es made through photographs, she was advised to 



include the white plantation owners and tell the 
story from their perspective, or else make it into a 
horror flick, with the ghosts of the picture brides 
rising from their graves. 

Rebecca Miller ran up against what she calls 
"the kitsch machine" when attempting to veer 
away from saccharine depictions of children in her 
story of two sisters, Angela. 

Terry Zwigoff was told to make Crumb, his 
painfully honest documentary about the under- 
ground cartoonist R. Crumb, into something more 
"peppy and snappy and MTV style," he says. 

Matthew Harrison made his first feature, the 
"bowling noir" Spare Me, following other people's 
advice, and nothing came of it. His second fea- 
ture, Rhythm Thief, about a Lower East Side boot- 



Iegger ot local bands' tapes, was made tor one- 
third the cost and attracted a good hii:: at 
Sundance. "When I did it just the way I wanted," 
he says, "people responded." 

All ended up sticking to their guns and pro- 
ducing strong, personal work, nothing like the 
filmmaking-by-committee-and-marketing- depart- 
ment approach that turns the wheels in 
Hollywood. And all were rewarded with top prizes 
at Sundance: the Grand Jury awards for best dra- 
matic film {Brothers McMullen), best documentary 
and nonfiction cinematography {Crumb), best 
screenplay (Living in Oblivion), and best dramatic 
director (Rhythm Thief); the Audience Award for 
best dramatic feature (Picture Bride); and 
Filmmakers Trophy tor best dramatic feature and 
fiction cinematography (Angela). 

This is what continues to make Sundance 
worthwhile: true independent films, those low- 
budget labors of love, still get programmed, prized, 



get the bigwigs now [and] they're all here at the 
beginning, because it's become a place to be. 
There's food here tor them," savs John Cooper, 
one ot the festival's programmers. Publicists rule 
the roost at the Claimjumper restaurant, the festi- 
val's new hospitality suite. Cellular phones are a 
running joke (each screening begins with a request 
to turn them off). Parties are so packed there's lit- 
erally no elbow room. The waiting lines for sold- 
out screenings are themselves maxed out, turning 
dozens away. Distributors are beginning to address 
the latter problem by holding press screenings dur- 
ing the weeks prior to Sundance. That's great tor 
the working press, but it further emphasizes the 
hierarchy in visibility between films with distribu- 
tors and those without. 

In sum, the tenor has changed. It's something 
the festival organizers recognize and frankly don't 
know how to stop. "We've created this monster," 
says Cooper. Even Sundance Institute president 




and picked up. The downside is getting to be an 
old refrain: Sundance is overly crowded and, as 
the make-up of its audience has changed, so has 
the tenor of the 10-day event. 

Top festival programmer Geoffrey Gilmore calls 
Sundance "a bridge between aesthetic achieve- 
ment and commercial demands, between 
Hollywood and independents." True, it embraces 
both, but the balance has shifted. Sundance is 
evolving into something more mainstream and 
manic, less edgy, and certainly less friendly. 

The festival's attendance has doubled over the 
past five years. Journalists outnumber films by 
about three-to-one, and there are countless more 
publicists, agents, talent scouts, producers, distrib- 
utors, and other handmaidens ot the industry. "We 



Robert Redtord acknowledged the problem, call 
ing the festival "a mistress out ot control." 

Something's got to give, and chances are, in 
another five years, the festival will either evolve to 
accommodate the increasing numbers (there's 
already been some talk about a concurrent mar- 
ket), or else some other festival or event will 
emerge as a competing locus of dealmaking and 
exposure between independents and the industry. 

Slamdance '95 isn't it, but it does expose a 
crack in the monolith. This scruffy little festival, 
subtitled "Anarchy in Utah," is a new alternative 
showcase for dramatic feature work turned down 
by Sundance. Twelve films were screened in Salt 
Lake City and Park City venues — the latter boldly 
located right under the official festival's nose, in a 
room 50 paces down the hall from the Prospector 
Square theater. This guerrilla event managed to 
attract decent audiences, no doubt benefiting 
from the Prospector theater's overflow. 



Slamdance's organizers have already reserved two 

screening rooms for next year. "We continue to 
push tor the recognition ot the smaller indepen- 
dent-- and first-time filmmakers — and the idea ot 
discovering new talent." says cofounder Jon 
Fitzgerald. 

Ironically, this year Sundance had an impres- 
sive roster ot first-time filmmakers. In tact, the big 
story is so many ot these neophyte feature direc- 
tors came to the festival with distributors already 
attached. This was the case with seven out of 19 
films in the Premiere section: David Frankel's 
Miami Rhapsady (Buena Vista), Mina Shum's 
Double Happiness (First Generation Films), Milcho 
Manchevski's Before the Rain (Gramercy), David 
Salle's Search & Destroy (October Films), James 
Gray's Little Odessa (Fine Line Features), Danny 
Boyle's Shallow Grave (Gramercy), and Scott 
Kalvert's Basketball Diaries (New Line). 

In contrast, the Competition — the heart of the 
festival, which is supposed to present more cut- 
ting-edge, less exposed work — included only three 
directorial debuts in the dramatic category: Steve 
Chbosky's Four Comers of Nowhere; John Young's 
Parallel Sons; and Kayo Hatta's Picture Bride 
(Miramax). 

What does this mean? It shows, for one, that 
distributors are not waiting for Sundance anymore 
to gamble on new films that show signs of com- 
mercial viability. "It used to be that distributors 
came here and wouldn't touch any of these films," 
says Cooper. Now they're acquiring independent 
work during and before the festival. Nearly a quar- 
ter of the films coming to Sundance '95 already 
had distributors attached, many of whom are using 
the festival as a launch pad for spring releases, 
much as the New York Film Festival serves as a fall 
kick-off. 

But that still leaves three-quarters of the films 
looking for distribution. And ultimately this is 
what the festival is all about. Which is why you 
don't hear filmmakers, at least, complaining about 
the rampant numbers of industry dealmeisters and 
distributors. For them, the more the better. As 
Nadja director Michael Almereyda said during the 
press conference for the dramatic competition, 
"It's a false issue to accuse the festival of warping 
itself into the mainstream. We all want audi- 
ences." 

"Why [Sundance] feels mainstream is that 
there's so many industry people coming into this 
tiny place," Hatta said later. "The fact of the mat- 
ter is the material is still very independent. It just 
shows you where the mainstream is looking tor the 
new voices; it is independent cinema." 

As much as Sundance's organizers officially 
play down the matchmaking — publicly emphasiz- 
ing the art of the festival — they know they're the 
only game in town (actually, in the United States) 
for this level and degree of interaction between 
top-level executives in the film industry and mde- 

April 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 37 




s, 



Sisters Ellie (Charlotte Blythe) and Angela (Miranda 
Stuart Rhyne) in Rebecca Miller's ANGELA. 
Courtesy filmmaker 



pendent filmmakers. And they know that all the 
sturm und drang during Sundance is over a pathet- 
ically tiny piece of the domestic theatrical mar- 
ket — somewhere between three and six percent. 
So they do all they can to provide a leg up for 
indies. "A lot of this is about building relation- 
ships," says Cooper. "That's half of what I do 
here... It's the relentless, unsung part — the con- 
stant introductions." 

The roster of films distributors brought to 
Sundance far outnumbered the acquisitions they 
carried away, but, as usual, each pick-up caused a 
tremor of excitement to ripple through the festi- 
val. The Brothers McMullen, an affable ensemble 
comedy about three Irish Catholic brothers living 
together on Long Island, was the first acquisition 
this year, snapped up by Twentieth 
Century Fox's new specialty 
division, Fox Searchlight 
Pictures. Sony Pictures 
Classics picked up 
Living m Oblivion. Fine 
Line took on 
Unzipped, a docu- 
mentary by fashion- 
photographer- 
turned -filmmaker 
Douglas Keeve about 
designer Isaac Mizrahi, 
which also netted an 
Audience Award for 
Best Documentary. 



' undance always 
provides an enticing 
peak at the year's 
coming independent 
attractions. The fol- 
lowing dozen films, in 
addition to the festi- 
val's award winners, 
are among the ones 
to watch for: 
• Antonia Bird's 
Priest (Miramax) was 
probably the hottest 
ticket and most intel- 
ligent, provocative 
film at the festival. Bird, a former BBC producer 
and theater director, put together an emotionally 
gripping story of a homosexual priest grappling 
over religious strictures on the expression of love 
and on what actions are permissible after he 
encounters a young incest victim during confes- 
sion. 

• The New Zealand film Once Were Warriors is 
a surprising feature debut by TV commercial 
director Lee Tamahori. Nothing slick about this: 
it's a tough, uncompromising look at the destruc- 
tive impulses within a contemporary Maori family 
and how traditional native rites are ignored, per- 
verted, or offer a route to personal redemption. 

• Canadian Bruce McDonald, hailed at 
Sundance in 1992 for his Highway 61, earned 
accolades this year for Dance Me Outside, a 
humorous and provocative view of Gen X youth 
on the Kidebanesse Reservation. 

• From the United States, the most controver- 
sial work by far was Kids, by still photographer 

Larry Clark, which had an unannounced 

-•neak preview at the festival. Described 

by some as exploitative porn, by others 

as an eye-opening look at modern 

youth, Kids is rife with graphic sex am 



drug-taking. Acquired by Miramax for $3.5 mil- 
lion, this film will test the limits of Miramax's rela- 
tionship with parent company Disney and its no 
NC-17 policy. 

• The Incredible Adventures of Two Girls in Love 
is Maria Maggenti's pure-fun farce about lesbian 
teens in Westchester. If Sundance's audience is 





any measure, this one 
is headed to be a major 
lesbian breakthrough. 

• Todd Haynes 
(Poison) is back with 
another thought-provoking 
AIDS-allegory. Safe is about 
a housewife who develops 
"environmental illness," a 
debilitating reaction to the 
60,000 chemicals that are 
now an everyday part of our 
lives. The second part of the 
film, in which the protagonist 
turns to New Age self-heal- 
ing, has left audiences 
divided, depending on 
whether they see it as 
an ironic and ultimately 
condemning critique of 
New Age cures, or as an 
endorsement. 
• Plan 10 From 
Outer Space, in the festi- 
val's midnight film sec- 



I 



38 THE I N D E P E 



lion, should take the Roger Corman or Edward 
Wood Pri:e for no-budget effects. This cult flick, by 
Utah native son Trent Harris, is perhaps the first alien 
invasion story to weave in Utah history and Mormon 
ideology. 

• Fans of the thriller genre were raving about 
The Usual Suspects. Working with a plot even more 
convoluted than is typical for this genre, sopho- 
more director Bryan Singer (Public Access) had all 
his ducks in order for this ambitious undertaking. 

• Creating a buzz in the documentary section 
was Jupiter's Wife (awarded a 

Best Director jury 
prize), Michel 
Negroponte's 
film about a 
homeless, 
schizo- 
phrenic 
woman 



combines cinema verite with elements of a mys- 
tery quest. 

• Beach Boy Brian Wilson m a d e an unfor- 
gettably wigged out appearance in last 
year's Tfieramin. This year he was the focus of 
a feature-length documentary, I just Wasn't Made 
for These Times. Made by record producer 
Donald Was (who is reportedly producing an 
album with Wilson), the film occasionally turns a 
bit fawning and leaves out some of the most 
bizarre and significant elements from the musi- 
cian's biography. But Wilson is such a character 
that he's well worth the visit. 

• Two activist films also attracted a wide fol- 
owing. When Billy Broke His Head. . . and Other 
Tales of Wonder, an ITVS production by David 
Simpson and Billy Golphus, shows how Golphus, 
after being seriously disabled through a 
motorscooter accident, gradually becomes an 
activist for the physically impaired. This film net- 
ted the Freedom of Expression Award. 

• Heather MacDonald's Ballot Measure 9 
chronicles the defeat of the Oregon ballot 

measure that would have denied 

civil rights protection to gays 

and lesbians. In the 

process, the 

film 



provides 
a clear look at 
the organizing meth- 
ods of the Religious Right. 
Ballot Measure 9 shared the 
Audience Award for Best 
Documentary with its complete 
opposite, the fun and frivolous 
Undipped. That a festival audi- 
ence would split so evenly and 
diametrically is a welcome 
reminder that people follow 
different drummers, even at 
Sundance. 

Patricia Thomson, editor of 
The Independent, last wrote 

about Semper Fi, the docu- 
mentary on Oliver Ninth's 

Senate campaign. 



If Ed Wood if he could: Deva Cantrell as a space- 
ft ' man in Trent Harris' PLAN 10 FROM OUTER 
£•:. SPACE. Courtesy filmmaker 





26th 
Sinking Creek 


Film/Video Festival 



35mm, 16mm Film & 3/4" 

U-Matic Video 

All genre: documentary, 

animation, dramatic, music 

videos, and experimental. 



DEADLINE MM, 1995 



Festival: featuring seminars, 
special presentations 
and open screenings. 

NOV 7-1 2, 1995 

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY 

NASHVILLE, TN. 

Now accepting Canadian 

and International entries. 

For Entry Forms and 

Registration Procedures: 

Sinking Creek Film/Video Festival 

Meryl Truett, Executive Director 

402 Sarratt Student Center 

Vanderbilt University 

Nashville, TN 37240 

ph. (615) 322-2471 or 322-4234 

FAX (615) 343-8081 



April 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 39 



LOOKING FOR FUNDS IN 
SOME OF THE RIGHT PLACES 

The International Film Financing Conference 



By Michael Fox 

^^ Independent filmmakers are a 
paradoxical lot, and the second 
annual International Film 
Financing Conference provided 
an intensive, weekend-long 
reminder. Given a crash course 
in reality from the worldwide 
array of panelists at IFFCON 
'95 (which took place January 
13 through 15 in San 
^^^^^^_ Francisco), the 60 producers 
and directors in attendance 
bounced hack with revised strategies and undamp- 
ened enthusiasm. When informed that a previous- 
ly supportive distributor of independent features is 
now emphasizing "inspirational endings," they 
responded, "Fine, we'll look elsewhere for money." 
Extraordinary persistence is required to make 
inroads into Japan? "Okay, where do I begin?" 
Maybe the truth can set you free after all, rather 
than lead to discouragement. Or as Susan Stern, 
producer/director of Barbie Nation, a nonfiction 
film in production, said, "Making documentaries is 
disheartening whether you come to this confer- 
ence or not." 

The major goal of IFFCON, according to 
Wendy Braitman of EBS Productions (which pro- 
duced the event in association with the Film Arts 
Foundation), is "to create a vital forum where 
independent filmmakers could hook up with inter- 
national coproduction partners and find potential 
pre-sales for their work." The format of the con- 
ference was similar to last year's, with an assort- 
ment of panel discussions, case studies, small- 
group roundtables, one-on-one pitch sessions, 
meals, and receptions. Like last year, there was a 
mix of feature and documentary makers from 
around the country, all hunting for production 
dollars. 

The major structural change of the conference 
was the introduction of an Open Day aimed at Bay 
Area filmmakers, which launched the three-day 
event. Three hundred people jammed the hall for 
panels on "Rallying U.S. Dollars," "Looking at 
Foreign Television," "Understanding Tools of 
Selling: Festivals, Markets & Sales Agents," and 






nm 

I n ternationa 1 
Film Financing 
Conference '95 




"Exploring New Financial Territories: The 
Independent Producer and Multimedia." As an 
indication ot both the hunger for this information 
and its unavailability elsewhere, a substantial 
number of filmmakers journeyed from Los 
Angeles, Honolulu, and even New York just for 
Open Day. 

The remaining two days were the heart of IFF- 
CON: an intensive weekend of pitching and 
schmoozing for the filmmakers accepted into the 
conference. (Those lucky 60, selected from 181 
applicants, were required to have a "current pro- 
ject for which [they were] seeking international 
financing, coproduction, or acquisition." Each 
paid $310 for the full weekend, or $275 for mem- 
bers of Film Arts Foundation (FAF), NAATA, 
Cine Accion, and Frameline; Open Day alone 
cost $115/$80.) Braitman and her partner, 
Michael Ehrenzweig, improved upon last year's 
successful debut in three areas: they increased the 
number of panelists who specialize in documen- 
taries, added representatives from Mexico and 
Japan, and expanded the emphasis on distribution 
and overseas rights for finished works, rather than 



focusing exclusively on coproduction possibilities 
for start-up projects or works-in-progress. 

The doc expertise was provided by returning 
panelist Anna Even of ZDF and Arte; Robin 
Gutch, Channel Four's deputy commissioning edi- 
tor in film and video; and Tomio Shomiyama of 
Media International Corp. (MICO), who buys 
documentaries for NHK's four channels (two 
satellite and two terrestrial). 

"I'm looking for something different, that 
Japanese producers cannot make," Shomiyama 
told attendees. He acquires 150 hours of nonfic- 
tion programming a year, of which 40 percent is 
American. This "different" work rarely includes 
gay and lesbian issues, however; Japan is a partic- 
ularly difficult market for such films, Shomiyama 
admitted, although it is not completely closed. 
More generally discouraging was Kiki Miyake, 
who acquires Japanese distribution rights and 
arranges coproductions through her New York 
company, Little Magic Productions. She painted 
such a bleak picture that she felt compelled to 
apologize during IFFCON's closing session. "I 
hope I wasn't too pessimistic about Japan," Miyake 
said. "It is a tough nut to crack, even for the 
Japanese." 

Mexico may be more accessible for Americans, 
according to Mexican producers Bertha Navarro 



40 THE INDEPENDENT April 1995 



and Jorge Sanchez, but the collapse of the peso has 
snuffed coproduction possibilities. "We have tal- 
ent and services," Sanchez said. "We don't have 
cash at this time; we won't have cash for a long 
time, I don't think." Navarro added, "Ninety-eight 
percent of the screens show Hollywood films. In 
all of Latin America, you can raise $50,000." 

For all the grim news and hard questions, the 
conference was not without its moments of levity. 
Dieter Kosslick, executive director of the 
Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Wesfalen, Germany's 



young men, there was little common ground 
between Tehranian's needs and the indie projects 
on hand. But Tehranian analyzed pitches in her 
roundtable (where each panelist met with six to 
eight attendees at once), determined who in 
Hollywood would be appropriate for each project, 
and rattled off their numbers from her address 
book. 

National Geographic Television's Gayle 
Gilinan, who's developed several films for the 
company's Explorer series, went home with more 




largest film fund, and president of the European 
Film Distribution Office (EFDO), proved to be 
IFFCON's designated comic. After receiving a 
glowing introduction from Braitman on Open 
Day, Kosslick remarked, "I don't know how impor- 
tant I am, but if you have money you are impor- 
tant." At the end of the conference, he quipped, 
"Coproduction is like sex: The most bizarre people 
are doing it, everybody else wonders why, and I 
just think it's fun." 

Irreverence was the watchword ot the 15- 
minute guide to pitching delivered by Beverly 
Hills agent Thomas Garvin of Ervin, Cohen 6k 
Jessup. The bearded, no-nonsense Garvin's salient 
tips included the advice not to pitch distributors 
and producers at AFM, Cannes, MIFED, and 
other markets ("They're in sales mode, not buying 
mode") and to hone one's project description into 
one page, one paragraph, and one line. "You are 
your best representative," he summed up, "and 
best suited to communicate the passion, the vision 
and, hopefully, the content." 

Also noteworthy was the contribution of Yalda 
Tehranian, vice president of production and 
acquisitions at Live Entertainment and former 
executive director of acquisitions and internation- 
al coproductions at New Line. Since Live special- 
izes in highly accessible features aimed primarily at 



in her bag than Tehranian did. She told Braitman 
she had never been to a market as productive as 
IFFCON and left with three documentary projects 
to explore further — Richard M. Lewis' The Snow 
Monkeys of Texas, Wendy Hanamura's Honor 
Bound, and Mel Halbach's The Long-Haired 
Warriors. 

While indie producers love those kind of sto- 
ries, so do acquisition execs — and IFFCON's orga- 
nizers. The continued success of the forum is tied 
not only to demand from the independent pro- 
ducer community, but also to attracting first-rate 
panelists. In addition to ZDF's Even, returning 
panelists included Sandra Schulberg (Playhouse 
International Pictures, formerly American 
Playhouse) and Jack Lechner (formerly in 
Channel Four's drama department and now with 
HBO Showcase in New York). Based on their 
enthusiasm at the conference's conclusion, sever- 
al of this year's first-time panelists will be back in 
1996. At this stage, Braitman and FAF have every 
intention of maintaining IFFCON as an annual 
event. 

As far as the participants are concerned, 



Timothy Schwab journeyed from South Dakota 
for the second year — and the fact that his agenda 
was different says something about how IFFCON 
has evolved. While Schwab was looking tor fund- 
ing for his documentary The Freeway Film at the 
first IFFCON, this time he was interested in issues 
of distribution and overseas rights for The Burning 
Barrel (fully funded by ITVS). He welcomed the 
presentation on sales agents by Helen Loveridge of 
Fortissimo Film Sales. "That's something that's 
totally mysterious to most people," Schwab 
explained. Among other sales tips picked up dur- 
ing the course of the weekend was Schulberg's 
advice that filmmakers should talk to lots of other 
producers and ask what price they got for their 
film in each territory. 

First-time attendees were equally positive. New 
York filmmaker Bridgett Davis, who's in postpro- 
duction with her dramatic feature Naked Acts, 
asserted, "This conference is ideal for the new pro- 
ducer trying to navigate the whole foreign maze. I 
initiated some good relationships, and I learned 
who isn't right for the project, where not to go and 
not to spin my wheels." Or as another filmmaker 
was overheard to say after his one-on-one meet- 
ing, "In five minutes I got a reading that might 
have taken me a year otherwise." Tricia Regan, a 
New York-based producer who's in postproduction 
on the documentary A Leap of Faith, took a longer 
view. "As a first-time producer, you're not only try- 
ing to finish your film, you're building your career. 
I need to know people at National Geographic and 
in Germany." 

Roughly half of the 60 attendees came from 
outside the Bay Area, which speaks not only to the 
desperation for information about markets abroad 
but to the lack of alternative settings. Morrie 
Warshawski, a consultant and the author of 
Shakmg the Money Tree, concluded, "Absolutely 
the most important aspect is being able to meet 
these people directly who you can't meet in any 
other context. This is one of the few venues that 
brings people in internationally who have control 
over money." To put it another way, although 
Braitman and Ehrenzweig conceived IFFCON as a 
resource for Bay Area filmmakers, the event has 
quickly developed a national profile. 

The closing night party was held at San 
Francisco's brand-new Museum of Modern Art, 
which opened to the public the following week. As 
a bartender mixed martinis, Sandra Schulberg 
summarized the philosophy behind IFFCON: 
"There's a very low bullshit quotient here, and 
that's what I like about it." A few moments later 
and a few steps away, filmmaker Tim Schwab cor- 
roborated Schulberg's observation: "We make fan- 
tasies. We don't want to deal with fantasies." 



Michael Fox wrote on public television programs direc- 
tors in tlxe March Independent and regularly covers the 
Bay Area media scene for numerous publications. 



April 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 41 




I 



Focus 




By Luke Hones 

A video, multimedia, or film producer is also an 
audio producer. Your ability to produce a com- 
pelling audio track that integrates well with your 
concept will, in part, determine your project's suc- 
cess; begin planning the final mix from the first 
day of preproduction. 

Microphone choice, sound design, and record- 
ing to disk aside, audio requires a certain amount 
of housekeeping throughout the production 
process. The following remarks will have a video 
bias, but are technology-independent and apply to 
multimedia and film as well. 



Preproduction 



Facility: As early as possible, talk to someone at 
the facility where you will work. He or she may 
have some time-saving, money-saving, produc- 
tion-saving suggestions. 

Budget: The final audio mix is usually the last 
step in preparing your master tape. Practically, 
that means you're probably out of money when it's 
time to do the mix. Are you going to forego the 
audio mix? Are you going to go with the lowest 
price for a mix? Are you going to beg or bamboo- 
zle a facility for a break? Are you going to stiff 
them? 

As naive as it may seem, you should budget for 
an audio mix and proieci thai money. Any of the 
other possibilities listed above will probably result 
in 1) a bad mix, 2) bad feelings, or both. Choose 
the facility that will work best for you, and 
approach that facility with a long-term relation- 
ship in mind. 

Videotape stock: Use 30-minute tape stock, 
60- minute maximum. Using two hour tapes will 
seem like a false economy after countless 
dropouts, tape manglings, and all that time in the 
editing suite searching through two hours of mate- 
rial per tape. 

Time Code: Time code is an audio signal. It is 
the language of electronic editing and the key to 
synchronization. Before going out to shoot, you 
must understand how time code will be recorded 
on your field tapes and how it will play a role in 
the rest of the production. 



HOW TO AVOID 
A NOISE DIVE 

Producing a FooUProof Audio Track 



& ^ 




Courtesy BAVC 



H The VU meter, 
one of the more 
common ways to 
measure audio 
in the field and 
studio. 



Production 



Rental Equipment: Make sure you understand 
how to use your equipment before you go out in 
the field. Do not just show up to rent the field 
package and then ask for a primer. Set up an 
appointment with the staff and go over the pack- 
age, or you risk a rushed, distracted introduction 
to the equipment. Make sure you have enough 
batteries. 

Recording audio: Use an audio recording pack- 
age that has a tone generator, audio meters, and 
adjustable recording levels. A tone generator 
emits a 1 kHz tone (the tone you hear when look- 
ing at color bars). In a perfect world, you will 
record tone (and color bars) at the beginning of 
each tape. Record the tone by adjusting the audio 
levels until the meters are at dB (this as known 
as zeroing out the tone). Once tone is recorded at 
dB, you should watch the audio meters and 
make sure audio levels average below dB (with 
digital audio, the levels should constantly remain 
below OdB). 

There is a very good reason for including this 
step in production. When it is time to dub the 
field tapes or edit the final piece, you may have 
many different tapes recorded at many different 
times. The 1 kHz tone at the beginning of each 
tape is a reference for the facility technicians. 
They will adjust playback levels and record levels 
with the tone set at dB, and they will assume 
that the range of your audio will average below 
dB. The result: the audio will not be unpre- 



dictably loud or quiet; every tape's audio will be in 
the same range. 

Before beginning to record with a mic, close 
your eyes and be very quiet. Is that a fluorescent 
light humming? The refrigerator? Any miscella- 
neous sound removed from the audio before 
recording will give you more flexibility later. 

If you are planning on doing postproduction, 
try not to mix your audio in the field. You'll want 
to leave all your options open. 

Don't record audio or video at the beginning of 
the tape or at the very end. Set a time limit, such 
as 29 minutes for a 30-minute tape, and stick to it. 
The end of the tape is a bad place for valuable 
footage, because it is difficult to edit. Also, 
because the amount of tape on each cassette 
varies, you may record 33 minutes of material on a 
30 minute Betacam SP tape and the dubbing facil- 
ity may do a window dub for you using a 30 minute 
VHS tape with only 32 minutes on it. 

Be aware that different pieces of audio equip- 
ment have different levels of impedance. 
Impedance is a topic for an audio engineering 
course, but here are some examples of what can go 
wrong when there are impedance mismatches. 

Example 1: Microphone plugged into a line 
input. Broadcast cameras like BVW 300/400s 
often have a switch near the audio input for set- 
ting the input to "line" or "mic." This is also true 
of portable mixers like the Shure FP32. When 
using a mic, set these switches to "mic." Failing to 
do so will result in distorted audio. 

Example 2: Transferring audio from a broad- 
cast- level VCR to a consumer-level machine. 
When dubbing from Betacam SP to VHS, be 
aware that VCRs designed for a broadcast facility 
(often distinguished by XLR connectors) are prob- 
ably outputting audio at +4 dB. The inputs on a 
VHS machine or audio cassette recorder are rated 
at around -10 dB. When dubbing from +4 dB to - 
10 dB, it may be best to use a level matching box 
(about $200). Without a matchbox (the generic 
term for these devices), you run the risk of record- 
ing distorted audio. Matchboxes also match levels 
going the other way, and it is a good idea to use 
one for transfers, such as CD audio to Betacam SP 

From the time you record in the field until the 
final mix is finished, always monitor the audio. 



42 THE INDEPENDENT April 1995 



Labeling: On the tape label, identify the audio 
on each channel, (e.g. "Ch 1: Mike Nesmith 
Intrvw, Ch 2: Room ambience"). Labeling is not 
only important for the production process, but 
also invaluable when the tapes are archived. 

Postproduction 

Dubbing Audio: If you need dubs of your tapes, 
know the difference between discrete and mixed 
audio. Discrete (i.e., separate) recording of audio 
is when audio from channel 1 of the master is 
recorded onto channel 1 of the dub; likewise, 
channel 2 on channel 2. This is the type ot dub- 
bing to ask for when doing window dubs, where 
you need an exact copy of the master. 

Mix audio when making an exhibition copy ot 
the master. Because you cannot be sure how your 
work will be exhibited, you must make sure all 
audio will be heard by the audience. Horror story: 
some producers have sent tapes with discrete 
audio to broadcast stations; their programs aired 
with the narration, but without the musical 
accompaniment. 

Some dubs are not so easily defined, like foreign 
distribution dubs where the narration and music 
are mixed on to channel 1 and music alone is on 
channel 2. Often dubs require special handling 
because of time code issues. For example, if you 
have to post stripe (record time code after the 
original recording) a 3/4" tape, you will lose one of 
the audio channels for the time code. You will also 
lose use of an audio channel if you are putting 
time code on a VHS tape. 

Labeling: Be very clear about what is on each 
track of your tapes. One client requested that our 
facility mix audio for a dub. There was no label on 
the tape, so we started the dub as per the client's 
instructions. When we mixed the audio, there was 
a distortion that swooshed like wind whipping 
down a canyon. We discovered that the master's 
audio was not discrete, but that it was a foreign 
language master (mixed narration on channel 1, 
music on channel 2), and the distortion we heard 
was because the 2 channels were out of phase. 

The Final Mix: By this time, you have spoken 
to your audio facility throughout the entire 
process. The facility knows what your final output 
is (video, film, CD-ROM) and has prepared to get 
you there. You have planned the use of available 
resources, such as sound effects libraries and nar- 
ration booths. The audio you need to fix is mini- 
mal, but the staff is aware of the problems and has 
lined up the necessary equipment. 

This is the ideal scenario for producer and facil- 
ity. While it may not always be reached, acknowl- 
edging and striving for it will lead to a more satis- 
fying audio production with fewer snafus along the 
way. 

Luke Hones (videonet(Q aol.com) researches, writes, and 

speaks about community use of old and new technology. 

He is director of research and development at the Bay 

Area Video Coalition. 



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April 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 43 




By Kathryn Bowser 



FESTIVAL LISTINGS DO NOT CONSTITUTE AN FIVF 
ENDORSEMENT. SINCE SOME DETAILS MAY CHANGE 
AFTER THE MAGAZINE GOES TO PRESS, WE RECOM- 
MEND THAT YOU CONTACT THE FESTIVAL FOR FUR- 
THER INFORMATION BEFORE SENDING TAPES OR 
PRINTS. DEADLINE FOR INCLUSION IN THE FESTIVAL 
COLUMN IS THE 1ST OF THE MONTH TWO MONTHS 
PRIOR TO THE COVER DATE (IE: APRIL 1 FOR THE JUNE 
ISSUE). ALL BLURBS SHOULD INCLUDE: FESTIVAL 
DATES, CATEGORIES, PRIZES, ENTRY FEES, DEADLINE 
FOR SUBMISSIONS, FORMATS, AND CONTACT INFO. TO 
IMPROVE OUR RELIABILITY AND MAKE THIS COLUMN 
MORE BENEFICIAL TO INDEPENDENTS, WE ENCOUR- 
AGE ALL FILM- AND VIDEOMAKERS TO CONTACT FIVF 
WITH PERSONAL FESTIVAL EXPERIENCES. 



Domestic 

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM & 
VIDEO FESTIVAL, Sept. 15-17, CA. Now in 66th 

yr, this is 1 of world's longest running film/video fests; 
open to all motion picture makers in film & video. 
Entries made by college students judged separately 
from ind. entries; awards duplicated in both classifi- 
cations. Cash awards, certificates & trophies given. 
Screenings held in San Mateo, CA. Formats: 16mm, 
S-8, video. Entry fee: $5. Deadline: Aug. 15. 
Contact: American Motion Picture Society, Box 
4034, Long Beach, CA 90804-0034. 

AUSTIN HEART OF FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 5-8, 
TX. Fest celebrates writers' contributions to motion 
picture 6k TV industry; consists of screenwriters' con- 
ference by day 6k film fest by night. Screenwriting 
competition cats: adult/mature (action/drama/etc): 
feature-length, prize $3,000 6k conference pass; chil- 
dren/family: feature-length, prize $3,000 6k confer- 
ence pass; student short (30 min. 6k under): prize 
$750 6k conference pass. Fest also holds stuJcnt 
shorts competition (30 min. 6k under) w/ accepted 
entries screened before features. Deadlines: June 1 5 
(screenplay competition); Aug. 1 (short film show- 
case). Contact: Austin Heart of Film Festival, 707 
Rio Grande, ste. 101, Austin, TX 78701; (512) 478- 
4795; (800) 310-FEST; fax: (512) 478-6205. 

COLUMBUS INTERNATIONAL FILM AND 
VIDEO FESTIVAL/CHRIS AWARDS, October, 
OH. Now in 43rd edition, fest accepts ind. 6k corpo- 
rate prods for Chris Awards competition. Prods com- 
pete in 11 divisions w/ approx. 90 subject-area cats, 
incl. special divisions for students, print media 6k 
screenwriters. Awards: first place Chris statuette, sec- 



ond place Bronze Plaque, third place Certificate of 
Honorable Mention. Winning Chris Award qualifies 
film for Oscar consideration in the doc short cat. 
Deadline: July 15. Contact: Joyce K. Long, awards 
administrator, Columbus International Film 6k Video 
Festival/Chris Awards, 5701 N. High St., ste. 204, 
Worthington, OH 43805; (614) 841-1666. 

LUCKY CHARM AWARDS, August, WA. 4th 
annual fest features low-budget, shot-on-video 
works, all lengths 6k genres. Last yr's screenings fea- 
tured 75 works from US 6k Canada. Held at 911 
Media Arts Center in Seattle. Deadline: Apr. 30. 
Contact: Lucky Charm Awards, 2319 N. 45th St., 
#181, Seattle, WA 98103, Attn: Festival; (206) 522- 
6195. 

MARGARET MEAD FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 18- 
23, NY. This is premiere fest in US for anthropologi- 
cal 6k ethnographic film 6k video. Organized by edu- 
cation dept of American Museum of Natural History, 
fest accepts non-fiction work only. 1995 themes: 
films on 6k about the representation of children; 
works by media collectives/community produced 
media; any non-fiction work looking at cultural 
themes in general on western 6k non-western cul- 
ture. Film- 6k videomakers whose works are selected 
will receive certificate of participation 6k pass to fest 
events. Some financial assistance 6k housing avail. 6k 
some titles invited to participate in nat'l tour. Entry 
fees: $15 student; $30 ind. film/video; $75 TV/com- 
mercial film/video. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4"; pre- 
view on 3/4" 6k 1/2". Deadline: May 3. Contact: 
Elaine Charnov, Margaret Mead Film & Video 
Festival, American Museum of Natural History, 
Central Park West at 79th St., NY, NY 10024-5192; 
(212) 769-5305; fax: 5329. 

MTX: NEW YORK LESBIAN 6k GAY EXPERI- 
MENTAL FILM/VIDEO FESTIVAL/MLX 
BRASIL: FESTIVAL DAS MANIFESTACOES 
DA SEXUALIDADE, November, NY/Brazil. Fest 
focusing on films/videos by or about lesbians/gays 
encourages submissions from "every imaginable 
genre": A-V installations, cyber-submissions of inter- 
active 6k digital media, performance incorporating 
film 6k/or video. Mix Brazil tours Oct. through Dec. 
Formats: 3/4", 1/2". Submissions for installations 6k 
performance must be accompanied by written 
description 6k resume. Fest also seeks guest curators 
to curate, take active part in designing & publicizing 
fest 6k bringing new communities 6k new venues to 
fest. Deadline: June 15. Contact: MIX, 341 Lafayette 
St., #169, NY, NY 10012; (212) 501-2309; fax: 
(212) 477-2714; email: mix@nyo.cum. 

REELS IN COLOR FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 15-21, 
GA. First annual fest at Clark Atlanta University, 
"designed to promote and celebrate films written by 
and created for 6k about African Americans." Open 
to both professionals 6k students, who will compete 
in 4 main cats: features, featurettes, short 6k student 
films. Entries must be submitted on VHS or 3/4" 
videocassette. Deadline is Apr. 30; entry fee is $60 
for pros, $30 for students. Contact: The Reels In 
Color Film Festival, PO Box 3410, Atlanta, GA 
30302; (404) 249-7578. 



SILVER IMAGES FILM FESTIVAL, May 17-20, 
IL. 2nd annual fest featuring films 6k videos that cel- 
ebrate images of aging. Sponsored by Terra Nova 
Films, Chicago-based prod. 6k distribution co. that 
specializes in films 6k videos on aging issues, fest 
showcases US 6k foreign feature-length prods that 
"counteract the negative stereotypes about older 
adults that are prevalent in today's media." Deadline: 
Apr. 15. Contact: Rebekah Cowing, Terra Nova 
Films, 9848 S. Winchester Ave., Chicago, IL 60643; 
(312)881-8491. 

UNIVERSITY FILM AND VIDEO ASSOCIA- 
TION STUDENT FILM 6k VIDEO FESTIVAL, 

August, PA. Founded to recognize 6k exhibit "very 
best in student work worldwide," fest accepts submis- 
sions for third annual competition in cats of anima- 
tion, doc, experimental 6k narrative. At least $2,500 
awarded; nat'l tour of selected work. Entry fees: $10 
(UFVA members), $15 others. Deadline: May 31. 
Contact: Dave Kluft, fest director, Dept. of Radio- 
TV-Film, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122; 
(800) 499-UFVA; (215) 923-3532; fax: (215) 204- 
5280; email: dkluft@astro. ocis.temple.edu. 

Foreign 

EUROPEAN MEDIA ART FESTIVAL, Sept., 
Germany. Worldwide event for innovative experi- 
mental film 6k video art accompanied by video instal- 
lations 6k interactive projects. Seminars, workshops 
6k TV projects also part of program. Sections incl. 
New Film 6k Video Visions for recent German, 
European 6kint'l prods in field of experimental film 6k 
video art 6k for related experimental features/docs, 
music video 6k computer animation. Kunsthalle 
Dominikanerkirch (art gallery based in deconsecrat- 
ed church) is central venue. Playful approaches, 
experiments w/ technology 6k contemplative works 
are sought. Int'l student forum invites students 6k 
media ed. lecturers to present works. Deadline: May 
15. Contact: European Media Art Festival. Postfach 
1861, D-49008 Osnabruck, Germany; tel: 011 49 05 
41 2 16 58; fax: 011 49 05 41 2 83 27; email: 
emat"' bionic.zer.de. 

LEIPZIG INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY 
FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 31 -Nov. 5, Germany. 
Annual fest for short 6k feature-length doc 6k ani- 
mated films 6k videos; fest seeks "to promote int'l doc 
6a animated films." Fest program consists of int'l com- 
petition; special programs; video workshops; retro. 
Competition incl. separate cats for docs of all genres. 
Separate cash prizes awarded for feature-length prods 
6k prods under 45 mm. Prods entered for competition 
must not have been screened in public prior to June 
1, 1994- Prods awarded prizes at int'l fests may enter. 
Deadline: May 15. Submit VHS tapes only w/ brief 
synopsis 6k SASE to: Leipzig International 
Documentary Film Festival, 104 W. 29th St., 12th fl., 
NY, NY 10001, Attn: Steve Gallagher. For info, con- 
tact: Jurgen Bruning in Berlin: 011 49 30 782 8702; 
fax:01149 30 782 9740- 

PARNU VIDUAL ANTHROPOLOGY FESTI- 
VAL, July 2-5, Estonia. 9th annual fest 6k conference 
is scientific 6k artistic event aimed to support cultur- 
al survival of people. Don't accept films that are 



44 THE INDEPENDENT April 1995 



against human values. Films of high level of cre- 
ativity w/ scientific content preferred. Length under 
60 min. Formats: 16mm or 35mm or U-matic video. 
Video for preview. Participation fee: $300 (covers 
hotel, conferences, etc.) Deadline: Apr. 10. Send 
entry form, English transciption & 2 photos from 
film w/ non-returnable tape to: Parnu VA Festival, 
POBox A, Parnu EE3600, Estonia; tel: 372 44 
43869; fax: 372 2601 247. 

ST. PETERSBURG "MESSAGE TO MAN" 
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, June 16- 
21, Russia. Now annual event, which takes place 
during Russia's "White Nights," fest accepts short- 
& feature-length doc films (up to 120 min.), ani- 
mation (up to 60 min.) 6k short fiction (up to 60 
min.). Program incl. main competition, out-of-com- 
petition, best debut. Cash prizes awarded from 
$5,000. Invited filmmakers pay airfare to Russia; 
room 6k two meals/day provided. Entry fee: $35. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm. For info. 6k appls, contact: 
Anne Borin, US coordinator, St. Petersburg Film 
Festival, c/o Marie Nesthus, Donnell Media Center, 
20 W. 53rd St., NY, NY 10019; (212) 362-3412. 
Deadline: Apr. 15. Fest address: St. Petersburg 
Int'l Film Fest, "Message to Man" 12 
Karavannaya, 191011, St. Petersburg, Russia; tel: 
011 7 812 235-2660/230-2200; fax: 011 7 812 
235-3995. 

SAO PAULO INTERNATIONAL SHORT 
FILM FESTIVAL, August, Brazil. Estab. in 1990, 
noncompetitive event celebrating 6th yr as major 
stop on int'l short film fest circuit. Organized by 
Museum of Image 6k Sound of Sao Paolo (MIS) 6k 
supported by State Dept of Culture, fest exhibits 
short work of all genres. Fest organizes panoramas 
of Brazilian 6k Latin American prods, as well as 
special int'l programs. Fest is well attended by 
local audiences 6k filmmakers from throughout 
Latin America; program also incl. panel discus- 
sions 6k daily newsletter. Formats: 35mm, 16mm; 
preview on cassette. Deadline: May 15. Contact: 
Zita Carvalhosa, fest dir., Int'l Short Film Festival 
of Sao Paolo, Museu Da Imagem e Do Som, Av. 
Europa 158, 01449 Sao Paolo, Brazil; tel: 011 55 
1 1 280 0896; fax: 01 1 55 1 1 282 8074- 



The 1995 edition of the ATVF GUIDE 
TO INTERNATIONAL FILM AND 
VIDEO FESTIVALS will be published 
this summer. For a section on "The Inde- 
pendent Producer's View of the Inter- 
national Festival Circuit," AIVF/FIVF is 
soliciting brief essays from AIVF members 
and others discussing any aspects of their 
experiences at both American and foreign 
festivals. We are looking for thoughtful, 
insightful, witty and/or penetrating festi- 
val "report cards" or general advice/com- 
ments about the successes, joys, and dis- 
appointments of taking the festival route. 
Entries should be 300-400 words. $25 will 
be paid for selected essays, which will be 
credited in the guide. Please submit to: 
Kathryn Bowser, ATVF Festival Guide, 
625 Broadway, 9th fl.,NY, NY 10012; or 
fax to: (212) 491-9364. Deadline: May 
19. 



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EACH CLASSIFIED HAS A 250-CHARACTER LIMIT 
(INCLUDING SPACES & PUNCTUATION) AND COSTS 
$25 PER ISSUE FOR AIVF MEMBERS; $35 
FOR NONMEMBERS. PLEASE INCLUDE VALID 
MEMBER ID NUMBER. ADS EXCEEDING LENGTH 
WILL BE EDITED. COPY SHOULD BE TYPED AND 
ACCOMPANIED BY A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER, 
PAYABLE TO: FIVF, 625 BROADWAY, 9TH FL, NY, NY 
10012. TO PAY BY CREDIT CARD, FAX COPY TO (212) 
677-8732, ATTN: CLASSIFIED DEPT. YOU MUST 
INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INFO: CREDIT CARD TYPE 
(VISA/MC); CARD NUMBER; NAME ON CARD; EXPIRA- 
TION DATE; BILLING ADDRESS OF CREDIT CARD AND 
CARDHOLDER'S DAYTIME PHONE NUMBER. FAXES 
RECEIVED WITHOUT ALL INFORMATION WILL BE DIS- 
CARDED. ADVERTISERS WISHING TO RUN A CLASSI- 
FIED MORE THAN ONCE MUST PAY FOR EACH INSER- 
TION AND INDICATE THE NUMBER OF INSERTIONS ON 
THE SUBMITTED COPY. DEADLINES ARE THE 1ST OF 
EACH MONTH, TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO THE COVER 
DATE (E.G. MAY 1 FOR THE JULY 1995 ISSUE). 



Buy • Rent • Sell 

CP16 CAMERA PKG.: 16mm Sync camera w 12 
120 Angenieux zoom lens. Mint condition, 400' mag, 
2 batts w/ charger, anvil case, custom barney $1,600. 
(212)473-6779. 

NUDIST FAMILY VIDEOS, CD-ROMS. 
European. S5/SASE. Sunat, PO Box 9296, Newark, 
DE 19714-9296. 

SONY EVW 300 Pro Hi8 camera: Canon 13x1 f 1.4 
lens, 4 NP1 B batts, AC power supply 6k charger, case. 
Exc. cond. $6,000. Sony EV-S7000 Hi8 editing VCR. 
New, still under warrantee $1,300. (212) 254-4566. 



Distribution 

ATA TRADING CORP., actively & successfully 
distributing ind. prods for over 50 yrs., seeks new pro- 
gramming of all types for worldwide distribution into 
all markets. Contact us at (212) 594-6460. 

AQUARIUS PRODUCTIONS, INC., leading int'l 
distributor of videos on health care, seeks new videos 
on abuse, violence, addiction 6k special ed as well as 
aging & disabilities. Call/send videos for preview. 
Leslie Kussman, Aquarius, 5 Powderhouse Lne., 
Sherborn, MA 01770; (508) 651-2963. 

ECLECTIC ENTERTAINMENT CO., worldwide 
distribution for your "cutting-edge" art house or 
mainstream feature films. Send tapes to: 8033 Sunset 



Blvd., ste. 474, Los Angeles, CA 90046; (213) 466- 
0801; fax: (213)455-5980. 

ESTABLISHED EUROPEAN PARTNERSHIP 

attending Int'l Program Market, Cannes in April 
seeks quality prods/series, all genres, for exclusive 
distrib. West Six Media Ltd., 8 Poplar Grove, London 
W6 7RE; 01 1 44 71 603 7435; fax: (71) 602 0402. 

FANLIGHT PRODUCTIONS, distributor of 
award-winning film 6k video on disabilities, health 
care, mental health, family/social issues, etc. seeks 
new work for distribution to educational markets. 
Karen McMillen. Fanlight Productions, 47 Halifax 
St., Boston, MA 02130; (800) 937-4113. 

VARIED DIRECTIONS INT'L, distributors of 
socially important, award-winning programs on child 
abuse, health & women's issues, seeks select films & 
videos. Call Joyce at (800) 888-5236 or write: 69 Elm 
St., Camden, ME 04843; fax: (207) 236-4512. 



Freelancers 

16MM PROD. PKG. w/ cinematographer from 
$200/day. Crystal-sync camera w/ fluid head, Nagra 
mikes, Mole/Lowell lights, dolly/track, etc. Full 
16mm post avail.: editing, sound transfer, 1/4" to 16 
mag (.055/ft). Sound mixer $70/hr! Tom (201) 641- 
5532. 

AUDIOPERSON: Owns top audio pkg. & 4-wheel 
drive. Internationally experienced, sensitive, patient. 
Over 10 years experience in all aspects of audio. 
Concentrating on field work, doc 6k ENG. Call/fax 
MollySue Wedding (914) 271-1131. 

BETA SP cameraman w/Sony 3-chip BVP-70/BVV- 
5SR avail, for your project. Equip, pkg, DP kit, 
Sennheiser mics., 5-passenger van. Audio engineer 
avail. 3/4" Sony offline editing system. Thomas (212) 
929-2439, (201) 667-9894. 

BETA SP LOCATION PROD: Daily or long- 
term. Also Professional Hi8, 3/4" avail. NYC-based, 
will travel. For rates 6k info, call (718) 847-4667. 

BUSINESS SUPPORT SERVICES: Budgets, 
financial management, staffing, personnel, admin. 
Start-up 6k on-going support avail. Consult someone 
w/ 15 yrs. professional, exp. incl. PBS/1TVS. Kate 
Lehmann (612) 822-1240; e-mail: 

KATEL3317C aol.com. 

CAMERAMAN: Award-winning, sensitive, effi- 
cient. 10 yrs experience in docs 6k industrials, over- 
seas projects. Complete broadcast-quality Sony 
BVW-300A Beta SP pkg. Rates tailored to project 6k 
budget. Can speak Japanese. Scott, Public Eye 
Prods., (212) 627-1244. 

CAMERAMAN: Owner Sony 3-chip EVW-300 
broadcast quality Hi8 pkg. NYC-based, very flexible 
rates. Will travel. Conversational French 6k Italian. 
Comprehensive background in photography 6k 
sculpture. More info, contact John Anderson (212) 
875-9731. 

CAMERAMAN: Beta SP Aaton 16mm/S-16, Pro 
Hi8 pkgs. Award-winning 6k experienced w/ features, 
PBS docs, commercials, music videos, etc. D-Vision 
non-linear editing also avail. Flexible rates for inter- 



esting projects. (212) 254-4566. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Owner Aaton Itr 16/S-16 
avail, for challenging projects at very low rates. 
Experimental, doc, narrative film experience. Kevin 
Skvorak (212) 229-8357. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER lives to collaborate w/ 
original director. More than just pkg. Strong under- 
standing of montage, continuity 6k drama w/ lst-rate 
storyboard skills. Award-winning work screened at 
Sundance, Bravo, New Directors, MoMA. Tim (212) 
228-3143. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ awards, tal- 
ent 6k experience. Credits incl. features, commercials, 
industrials, docs, shorts 6k music videos. Owner of 
Aaton 16mm/S-16 pkg. 35mm pkg also avail. Call for 
my reel. Bob (212) 741-2189. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY looking for 
interesting features, shorts, ind. projects, etc. Credits 
incl. features, commercials, industrials, short films, 
music videos. Aaton 16/S-16 pkg. avail. Call Abe 
(914) 783-3159. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ 15 years 
experience Natl Geographic, music videos, network, 
looking for right dramatic feature to shoot on nego- 
tiable basis. Has complete 16SR2 pkg. Zeiss lenses, 
video, HMI lighting. Fluent French. Barry (203) 854- 
9334. 

DP: Award-winning w/ experience, expertise 6k 
attention to detail, seeks ind. prods. Docs, features, 
shorts. Great w/ people, action 6k aerials. Own com- 
plete Aaton S-16/16mm pkg., video 6k 35mm avail. 
Located in Utah; will travel. Jeffrey (801) 265-3444. 

DP/STEADICAM ARTIST w/ 16SR, 35BL, super- 
speed lenses, 3-chip camera 6k BVU 150 deck sound 
equipment, lighting, van. Passport. Certified Scuba 
diver, French, little Spanish. Features, commercials, 
music videos. Call Mick (212) 929-7728. 

DP W/ IKEGAMI digital camera, BVW 50 or 
BVV5, full field Beta SP pkg. (Arri lights, Vinten tri- 
pod, top-quality audio, transportation.) Network/int'l 
credits, competitive rates. Fluency in Spanish. Hal 
(212) 319-0745; (201)461-5132. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY: Frequent con- 
tributor to "Legal Brief" columns in The Independent 
6k other magazines, offers legal services to film 6k 
video community on projects from development 
through distribution. Reasonable rates. Contact: 
Robert L. Seigel, Esq. (212) 307-7533. 

ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER: Former AIVF 
exec, director 6k founding chair of ITVS has returned 
to legal practice. Have your project represented by 
lawyer w/ in-depth understanding of ind. prod., 
financing, distribution 6k public TV. Reasonable rates. 
Call Lawrence Sapadin (718) 768-4142. 

EXPERIENCED AVID INSTRUCTOR: Private- 
lessons or classes on high-end AVIF system. Media 
composer, film composer, FX 6k graphics. Debra 
Anderson (212) 995-1966. 

EXPERIENCED DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRA- 
PHY w/ Arri 16 SR pkg. 6k Mole Richardson lighting 
pkg. Seeks interesting film projects in feature or 
short-subject form. Very reasonable rates for new 



46 THE INDEPENDENT April 1995 



directors & screenwriters. (212) 737-6815; fax: 423- 
1125. 

IND. CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ interesting cred- 
its owns 1 6mm or Super 16mm Aaton pkg. &. lights 
for your music video, feature film, or short. Call 
Brendan Flynt for more info &. reel at (212) 226-8417 
(ph/fax). In Boston call (603) 599-9938. 

LINE PRODUCER/ PROD. MANAGER: Avail, 
for ind. video, 16mm, or 35mm prods. Call Marty 
(212)989-5704. 

MUSIC BY COMPOSER who has scored over 7 
award-winning films. Owns &. operates complete 
music prod, facility w/ multitrack recording & works 
well w/ directors &. editors. "The music speaks tor 
itself." Phil. Express (212) 727-3705. 

MUSIC FOR FILM: Versatile, flexible composing & 
prod, team w/ credits &. state-of-the-art recording 
facility avail, for all your soundtrack needs. Call for 
demo (516)883-2257. 

MUSIC OF A DIFFERENT NATURE: 

Surreal, unearthly, primordial, haunting passages. 
A buyout library of unique music to complement 
your creativity w/o expense of custom composi- 
tions. Call for free demo tape. Windswept Studios 
(703) 256-3279. 

PROD. SOUND MIXER: Network credits, (60 
Minutes, 20120, etc.) Doc, feature. 10 yrs. experi- 
ence. Nagra, Schoeps, Wireless, Mixer 6k more. 
Interested in film projects. Phone Jeff (201) 592- 
1260. 

PROFESSIONAL FUNDRAISER WANTED. 

Doc on integration of baseball in postprod., 
searching for sponsorship, underwriting, grants. 
Aaron, Fetter, O'Neil, Joe Carter involved. If 
interested, contact Rick Morris at Kimshi 
Productions (610) 354-0863. 

RIGHTS CLEARANCE SERVICES: Don't 
want to clear the rights on your film? I'll do it for 
you. Music, audio, archival footage, artwork, 
stills, the works. MB Clearances (212) 243-1067; 
fax: (212) 243-0627. 

STEADICAM: Dolly smooth runs w/ flexibility 
of hand-held camera. Call Sergei Franklin (212) 
228-4254. 

SU-CITY PICTURES PRESENTS: The 

Screenplay Doctor 6k Movie Mechanic. Story edi- 
tors/postprod. specialists will analyze your screen- 
play/treatment/synopsis 6k evaluate your film-in- 
progress. Multimedia, advanced tech 6k interactive 
consultations. Studio 6k ind. background. 
Reasonable. Call (212) 219-9224. 

TRANSCRIPTION SERVICES: $2.25 to $2.75/ 
D.S. page. Ladysmith Business Services, experienced 
in providing quality transcription for TV producers. 
Quick turnaround. Avail. 7 days. Phone (804) 448- 
4045. Leave message. 

VIDEO PROD.: Experienced cameraperson w/ Beta 
SP prod, pkg., offline editing, project rates. Reel avail. 
(212) 260-7748. 

Preproduction • Development 

BLACK FILMMAKER seeks financing 6k distribu- 
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shot. Star attached. Serious inquiries only. (718) 529- 
2134; (516) 773-8827. 

FORTY ACRES AND A MULE Filmworks, Inc., is 
accepting WGA-registered, feature-length screen- 
plays. Please send script 6k script-sized SASE to: Forty 
Acres and a Mule Development, 8 St. Felix St., 
Brooklyn, NY 11217; (718) 858-9620. 

RUSSIA & C.I.S. LOCATION SERVICES: 

American company in Moscow w/ 3 yrs. exp. will 
make all arrangements for your doc. or feature. Also 
ottering world's lowest prices on AVID 6k Silicon 
Graphics. Fax: 011-7095-216-8162; e-mail: moscine- 
ma(g glas.apc.org. 



POSTPRODUCTION 

$10/hr VIDEO VHS EDIT SUITE: $20-3/4", $15 
interf., incl. titles, Amiga 6k SEG. Also avail.: A&B 
dubs; computer; photo; Slides; audio; mixed media 
prod./postprod.; total S-8 sound film svcs 
editor training. The Media Loft, 727 6th Ave. (23rd) 
(212) 924-4893. 

16MM CUTTING ROOMS: 8-plate 6k 6-pIate fully 
equipped rooms, sound-transfer facilities, 24-hr. 
access. Downtown, near all subways 6k Canal St. 
Reasonable rates. (212) 925-1500. 

16MM SOUND MLX only $70/hr! Fully equipped 
mix studio for features, shorts, docs. Bring in your cut 
16mm tracks, walk out w/ final mix. 16mm transfers 
also avail, from 1/4" dailies, music, or SFX. (Only 
.055/ft. incl. stock.) Call Tom (201) 641-5532. 




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201.278.3411 



16MM EDITING ROOM, great location, low rates. 
Fully equipped w/ 6 plate Steenbeck, 24 hr. access, in 
East Village, safe 6k clean bldg. Daily, weekly, or 
monthly rentals. Call Su at (212) 475-7186. 

16MM & 35MM OPTICAL SOUND TRACKS! If 

you want "High Quality" sound for your film, you 
need a "High Quality" sound negative. Contact: 
Mike Holloway, Optical Sound/Chicago Inc., 24 W. 
Erie, Chicago, II 60610; (312) 943-1771 or (708) 
541-8488. 

3/4" NONLINEAR EDITING at $15/hr. (incl. 
operator) w/ D/Vision Pro 2.2 6k Sony 9850. 9GB 
hard drive. Reads SMPTE time code. Produces EDL. 
6 channels audio mix. SVHS/VHS/Hi8 editing w/o 
TC or EDL. Weekly/monthly rates. (212) 254-4361. 

3/4" OFFLINE EDIT ROOM avail, for rent. $25/hr. 
Madison 6k 26th St. RM440 Controller, Sony 5850 6k 
5800, 2 monitors. Flexible hrs. Kept in good repair. 
Suggs Media Productions (212) 689-9047. 

3/4" SONY OFFLINE SYSTEM delivered to you 6k 
installed: 5850, 5800, RM 440, 2 monitors $500/wk., 
$l,600/mo. Delivery 6k installation incl. Equipment 
clean 6k professionally maintained. Thomas (212) 
929-2439; (201) 667-9894. 

A-RAY DELIVERS: Beta SP component online edit 
pkg. $l,500/wk. Sony 3/4" offline $500/wk. Do it 
yourself or w/ our award-winning network editors. 
(203) 544-8114; fax: (203) 544-8334. 

AVID NON-LINEAR video editing system for rent. 
Competitive rates. Includes SONY PVW-2800 Beta 
SP recorder. Call Linda Patterson, 356 W. 58th St., 



NYC. (212) 560-6904. 

BRODSKY 6k TREADWAY: S-8 6k regular 8mm 
film-to-video masters, scene -by- scene to 1" 6k 
Betacam. By appointment only. (508) 948-7985. 

DELAWARE VALLEY EDITING: SVHS/VHS 
A/B roll editing w/ effects, titles 6k slo-mo $25/hr., 
$40/hr. w/ editor. Instruction avail. Time code striping 
6k burn-ins $1 5/hr. 10 miles from Philly, 90 miles from 
NYC. Call Obo Video for details (609) 354-0074. 

DIGITAL SOUND CUTTING RM. Sonic 
Solutions 6k Digidesign edit stations, 3/4" VTR, T.C. 
DAT, 2 6k 8 Trk analogue, CD, CD-ROM, outboard 
FX, Sample Cell, dubber, pull up/down, house sink, 
$l,000/wk. Monthly 6k daily rates avail. (212) 254- 
5086. 

EDIT AT HOME: Rent our mint condition Sony 
3/4" off-line system (5800, 5850, RM440, 2 moni- 
tors). $400/week, long term rates negotiable, one 
month minimum. Call Deborah (212) 226-2579 or 
Jane (212) 929-4795. 

NEW 3/4" SP SONY OFFLINE system: Rent or 
deliver to you: 9850, 9800, RM450, 2 mos., $500/wk. 
Install incl. Pro Digital EFX switcher Panasonic WJ- 
MX50 optional. Hi8 to 3/4" transfer, 6-ch. sound mic 
avail. From $10/hr. Girls Make Videos (212) 757- 
5013. 

SONY 3/4" SP OFFLINE SYSTEM: 9850 (w/ time 
coder generator 6k reader), 9800 (w/ time coder read- 
er,) RM450 controller, 2 monitors 6k 6-channel sound 
mixer. Negotiable, low rates. Call (718) 284-2645. 




■ 



® 



it# ^ Betacam SP field production * 
Component Betacam SP editing 
f&iyttal F/X Paint F/X DL graphites 
AVID Non-Linear editing 
Ijf 3/ 'A cuts editing 

* Mac files to video 

Component HIS transfers 

Betacam SP, 3/4SP, HIB, VHS duplication 

25' x 30' stage 



212.52S.S204 

SERVING ARTISTS 8k INDEPENDENTS SINCE I986 




'i 



■/. 






48 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 995 



NOTICES ARE LISTED FREE OF CHARGE. AIVF MEM- 
BERS & NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS RECEIVE FIRST 
PRIORITY; OTHERS ARE INCLUDED AS SPACE PERMITS. 
THE INDEPENDENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO EDIT FOR 
LENGTH. DEADLINES ARE THE 1ST OF THE MONTH, 
TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO COVER DATE (E.G., MAY 1ST 
FOR JULY ISSUE.) COMPLETE CONTACT INFO (NAME, 
MAILING ADDRESS & TELEPHONE NUMBERS) MUST 
ACCOMPANY ALL NOTICES. SEND TO: INDEPENDENT 
NOTICES, FIVF, 625 BROADWAY, NY, NY 10012. WE TRY 
TO BE AS CURRENT AS POSSIBLE W/ INFORMATION, 
BUT PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK W/ ORGANIZATIONS 
BEFORE SUBMITTING TAPES OR APPLICATIONS. 



Conferences • Seminars 

DCTV offers technical workshops, inch: Basic TV 
prod., camera seminar, S-VHS 6k 3/4" editing, Amiga 
titling & graphics, intro. to doc. Register: DCTV, 87 
Lafayette St., NY, NY 10013-4435; (212) 966-4510. 

FILM ARTS FOUNDATION offers ongoing work- 
shops & seminars, from S-8 6k 16mm film 6k video 
prod, to fundraising, distribution, screenwriting, spe- 
cial effects 6k guest lectures. Technical workshops 
taught by professionals. Contact: FAF, 346 9th St., 
2nd fl., San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 552-8760; 
fax: (415) 552-0882. 

FILMMAKERS: New computer conference dedicat- 
ed to NYC area film 6k videomakers avail, on Eastnet 
BBS: (718) 767-0157. Mac 6k Windows users can get 
free FirstClass r " software to dial in. E-mail 
DougAbel@aol.com for more info. 

HARVESTWORKS in Manhattan offers classes in 
subjects ranging from audio/video synchronization to 
multimedia prod. 6k audio preprod. All classes (1-2 
days) held at 596 Broadway, NY, NY. To register, call: 
Annie Fergerson (212) 431-1130. 

MID-ATLANTIC REGION ARCHIVES CON- 
FERENCE 6k Oral History in Mid-Atlantic Region 
are hosting annual conference, "It's About Time: 
Archivists 6k Oral Historians," in Baltimore, Apr. 20- 
22. For info on how to register, display local materials, 
or rent booth space, call (410) 539-0872, x 345. 

ROUSER INSTITUTE, Texas nonprofit corp., 
offers media literacy training to youth 6k their fami- 
lies. Workshops incl. discussions about various media 
forms, how media is planned 6k how media operates 
to communicate powerful messages that influence 
what we think about people 6k situations. For more 
info call Rhoda Cato at (512) 649-5563. 

VIDEOMAKER EXPO, April 27-29 at the 
Meadowlands Convention Center, first trade show 
exclusively devoted to video prod., will take place in 
Secaucus, NJ. Event features video industry's leaders 
6k experts. Series of discussion panels will incl. desk- 
top video 6k editing. For more info, call (916) 891- 
8410; fax: (916) 891-8443. 



Films • Tapes Wanted 

90's CHANNEL, embracing controversy 6k search- 
ing for programming that offers fresh approaches to 



TV, welcomes tapes for submission. Topics that have 
run on 90's incl.: Racism, (Framing the Panthers in 
Black & White); Jewish/Palestinian issues (We Dare to 
Speak); sexuality issues 6k programs on reproductive 
rights. Send 3/4" tapes to: The 90's Channel, 2010 
14th St., #209; Boulder, CO 80302; (303) 442-8445. 

47 GALLERIES, computer bulletin board service 
that promotes ind. artists 6k producers nationally, is 
looking for narrative, experimental, doc, animation 
6k performance films/videos to be sold on VHS 
through bulletin board systems. Send: VHS, descrip- 
tion of tapes, resume, SASE to: 47 Galleries, 2924 
Bellevue Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026. 

ART IN GENERAL seeks video works 6k guest- 
curated video programs for new monthly screening 
series. All kinds of work welcome, from experimental 
film 6k video to home videos; doc 6k activist to public 
access works. Send VHS tape (cued), resume 6k/or 
brief statement 6k SASE. For more info, call Joanna 
Spitzner (212) 219-0473. 

ART ON FILM DATABASE wants to know: Have 
you produced film, video or video disc on visual arts? 
Send info on prod, to Program for Art on Film 
Database, computer index to over 19,000 prods on 
visual arts. Interested in prods on all visual arts top- 
ics, 6k welcomes info on prods about artists of color 6k 
multicultural art projects. Send info to: Art on Film 
at Columbia University, 2875 Broadway, 2nd fl., NYC 
10025; (212) 854-9570; fax: (212) 854-9577. . 

BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION seeks 
films 6k videos by black ind. makers, directors, or pro- 
ducers for "Black Vision" portion of Screen Scene, 
weekly 1/2-hr. show that previews TV lineup 6k latest 
theatrical releases. For more info, contact: Screen 
Scene, BET, 1899 Ninth St. NE, Washington, DC 
20018; (202) 636-2400. 

BLACK VIDEO PERSPECTIVE, new community 
TV prod, in Atlanta area, seeks works for/by/about 
African Americans. For more info, contact: Karen L. 
Forest (404) 231-4846. 

BRONXNET (Bronx Community Cable 
Programming Corporation), nonprofit organization 
controlling 4 access channels on Bronx Cable- TV 
System, seeks works by ind. video- 6k filmmakers for 
access airing. Bronxnet produces programs, facilitates 
6k assists community in producing 6k cablecasting 
programs for, by 6k about Bronx. Contact: Fred Weiss, 
program director, (718) 960-1180. 

CAROUSEL, series for municipal cable channels 23 
6k 49 in Chicago, seeks films/videos for children 12 
yrs 6k under, any length, any genre. Send w/ appropri- 
ate release, list of credits 6k personal info to: 
Carousel, c/o Screen Magazine, 720 N. Wabash, 
Chicago, IL 6061 1. Tapes returned if accompanied by 
postage. 

CATHODE CAFE seeks short video-art interstitials 
to play between alternative-music videos on Seattle's 
TCI/Viacom Channel 29, Sundays 9:30 pm. Format: 
3/4" preferred; 1/2" OK. Contact: Stan LePard, 2700 
Aiki Ave. SW #305, Seattle, WA 98116; (206) 937- 
2353. 

CINCINNATI ARTISTS' GROUP EFFORT 

seeks proposals for exhibitions, performances 6k 




audio/video/film works to show in their galleries. 
Experimental, traditional 6k collaborative projects 
encouraged. Contact: CAGE, 344 W 4th St., 
Cincinnati, OH 55202; (513) 381-2437. 

CINEMA VIDEO, monthly showcase of works by 
ind. video- 6k filmmakers, seeks S-VHS or VHS sub- 
missions of any style, content, or length. Utilizing 
high-end projector, selected videos are projected onto 
10.5' x 14' screen. Monthly shows are collections of 
several artists' videos, but occasionally features are 
shown as special events when work merits it. Cinema 
Video is prod, of Velvet Elvis Arts Lounge Theater in 
Seattle, WA, non-profit fringe theater. Send submis- 
sions to: Kevin Picolet, 2207 E. Republican, Seattle, 
WA 981 12, or call Kevin for info at (206) 323-3307. 

CINEQUEST, weekly, half-hour TV series profiling 
best of ind. cinema 6k video from US 6k around world, 
looking for films/videos less than 20 min. to air on 30 
min. cable show. Work over 20 min. will air on 
monthly special in Orlando, FL market during prime- 
time. Seeking all genres. Concept of show is to stretch 
perceptions of conventional TV 6k expose viewers to 
scope 6k talent of inds. Submit on 1/2" or 3/4" video. 
Submissions need not be recent. No submission limit 
or deadline. Will acknowledge receipt in 10 days. 
Send pre-paid mailer if need work returned. Contact: 
Michael D. McGowan, producer, Cinequest Prods, 
2550 Alafayia Trail, Apt. 8100, Orlando, FL 32826; 
(407) 658-4865. 

CINETECA DE CINE ACCION seeks film 6k 
video submissions by 6k about Latinos for regular 
screening series. Fees paid. Will hold preview tape for 
3-4 mos. Formats: 16mm, 3/4", 1/2" video. Contact: 
Cine Accion, 346 9th St., San Francisco, CA 94103; 
(415) 553-8135. 

CITY TV, progressive municipal cable access chan- 
nel in Santa Monica, seeks work on seniors, disabled, 
children, Spanish-language 6k video art; any length. 
Broadcast exchanged for equip, access at state-of- 
the-art facility. Contact: Lisa Bernard, cable TV man- 
ager, City TV, 1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 
90401; (310) 458-8590. 

CONNECT TV, new series on ind. videomakers 
seeks work for 1/2-hr. show. Progressive, social issue 
docs, art, humor. Will air on Cable vision of CT Metro 
Video, 16 McKinley St., Rowayton, CT 06853; (203) 
866-1090. 

DATABASE 6k DIRECTORY OF LATIN AMER- 
ICAN FILM & VIDEO organized by Int'l Media 
Resources Exchange seeks works by Latin American 
6k US Latino ind. producers. To incl. work in this 
resource or for info, contact: Karen Ranucci, IMRE, 
124 Washington Place, NY, NY 10014; (212) 463- 
0108. 



April 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 49 



DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY TV CENTER 
(DCTV) accepts 3/4" & VHS tapes for open screen- 
ings & special series \\7 focus on women, youth, mul- 
timedia performance video, Middle East, gay/lesbian, 
Native American, labor 6k Asian art. Contact: 
Jocelvn Taylor, DCTV, 87 Lafayette St., NY, NY 
10013; (212) 941-1298. 

DUTV-CABLE 54, nonprofit educational access 
channel operated by Drexel University in 
Philadelphia, is looking tor works by md. producers 
for broadcast. All genres & lengths considered. No 
payment; will return tapes. VHS, SVHS 6k 3/4" 
accepted. Contact: George McCollough or Maria 
Elena Mongelli, DUTV-Cable 54, 33rd 6k Chestnut 
Sts., Philadelphia, PA 19104. 

DYKE TV, weekly national cable-TV show, seeks 
films & video shorts (under 10 min.). For into, call 
(212) 343-9335 or tax: 9337. 

EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY seeks 
ind. prods tor nonprofit cable channel in Spokane, 
Washington. No payment. Any genre or length. S- 
VHS, VHS, or 3/4". Tapes will be returned. Submit 
release form/letter & tapes to: Radio -Television 
Department - MS#104, Eastern Washington 
University, 526 5th St., Cheney. WA 99004-2431. 

ECOMEDLA seeks film 6k video works tor ecological 
screening series at Blagden Alley Artscience 
Warehouse. All genres accepted; emphasis on ecolo- 
gy. Send 3/4" or VHS tape, into, or queries to 926 N 
!J St., Rear, NW, Washington, DC 20001; (202) 842- 
3577. 

EN CAMINO, KRCB, seeks works of 30-60 min. in 
Spanish ek English concerning Latino community. 
Formats: 3 4", 16mm. Contact: Luis Nong, Box 2638, 
Ronhert Park, CA 94928. 

EZTV seeks film/video shorts (under 20 min.) tor 
L.A.-based UHF TV show. Submit 12" or 3/4" tapes. 
Narrative, experimental, doc. Contact: Jean Railla. 
EZTV, 8547 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hollywood, CA 
90069. 

FILMBABIES COLLECTIVE, co-op of NY-based 
writers ek directors, seeks new members w short films 
for screening series (16mm, under 15 min.). 
Filmmakers must reside in NY area. For more into, 
contact: PO Box 2100, NY, NY 10025 (incl. SASE); 
(212)875-7537. 

FLIP seeks VHS copy ot animation 3 min. or under 
6k/or Xerox copy or original flip book tor exhibition 
planned tor May June in New York. Send bnet bio 6s. 
SASE tor return ot materials by May 1 to: Flip, 163 
Third Ave., #297, NY, NY 10003; (212) 254-2812. 

GREAT LAKES FILM & VIDEO seeks 16mm 6k 
videos tor ongoing exhibition ot gay lesbian, Jewish, 
6k women's work. Experimental 6k animation are 
sought, as well as work fitting into program on aes- 
thetic anti-aesthetic. Contact: Matt Frost or Michael 
Walsh, Great Lakes Video 6k Film, PO Box 413, 
Milwaukee, WI 53201. 

HALCYON DAYS PRODUCTIONS seeks video 
segments (1-5 min.) by 15- to 25-year-olds for video 
compilation show. It piece is selected, you may have 
chance to be video correspondent for show. Work 
may be editorial, real-life coverage, political satire, 
slapstick — you decide. Just personalize. Submit VHS 
or Hi8 (returnable w SASE) to: Mai Kim Holley, 



Halcyon Days Prod., c/o Hi8, 12 W End Ave., 5th fl., 
NY, NY 10023; (212) 397-7754. 

HANDI-CAPABLE IN THE MEDIA, INC., non- 
profit organization, seeks video prods on people w/ 
disabilities to air on Atlanta's Public Access TV. No 
fees. Submit VHS or 3/4" tape to: Handi-Capable in 
the Media, Inc., 2625 Piedmont Rd., ste. 56-137, 
Atlanta, GA 30324. 

IND. PRODUCER who owns rights to book on 
bombing of Nagasaki in 1945, looking tor collabora- 
tors 6k add'l material tor multimedia project. Possible 
venues incl. exhibits in SF, NY 6k Japan honoring 
50th anniv. ot event. Contact: Duncan Chinnock, 
630 9th Ave., #907, NY, NY 10036; (212) 765-0555. 

IN VISIBLE COLOURS FILM & VIDEO SOCI- 
ETY seeks videos by women of color for library col- 
lection. Work will be accessible to members, produc- 
ers, multicultural groups 6k educational institutions. 
For more info, contact: Claire Thomas, In Visible 
Colours, 119 W. Pender, ste. 115, Vancouver, B.C. 
V6B 1S5; (604) 682-1116. 

IND. FILM & VIDEO SHOWCASE, cable access 
show, seeks student 6k ind. films 6k videos to give 
artists exposure. Send films or video in 3/4" format w/ 
paragraph about artist 6k his/her work. Send to: Box 
#1626, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, Florida 33620. 

LATINO COLLABORATIVE, bimonthly screen- 
ing series, seeks works by Latino film/videomakers. 
Honoraria paid. Send VHS preview tapes to: Latino 
Collaborative Bimonthly Screening Series, Vanessa 
Codorniu, 280 Broadway, ste. 412, NY, NY 10007; 
(212) 732-1121. 

LA PLAZA, weekly halt-hour doc series produced at 
WGBH Boston for 6k about Latino community, is 
interested in acquiring original works by ind. film- 6k 
videomakers that deal w/ social 6k cultural issues con- 
cerning Latinos. Works between 25 6k 28 min. 
encouraged. Please send tapes in Beta, 3/4" or VHS 
format to: La Plaza/Acquisitions, WGBH, 125 
Western Ave., Boston, MA 02134. 

LAUREL CABLE NETWORK, nonprofit in 
Maryland, seeks variety of works of all lengths 6k gen- 
res for regular access airing in 3/4", SVHS, or VHS. 
No payment 6k tapes cannot he returned. Submit 
tape en release form/letter to: Laurel Cable Network, 
8103 Sandy Spring Rd., Laurel, MD 20707, Attn.: 
Bob Neuman. 

METRO SHORTS, program of Metropolitan Film 
Society, seeks 35mm prints, 15 min. or less, for regu- 
lar screenings. Subject matter needs to suit audience 
that would view film w/ R rating. VHS/S-VHS pre- 
view tape would be helpful. Two-way UPS ground 
shipping costs provided. Contact: Michelle Forren, 
exec, dir, Metropolitan Film Society, 3928 River 
Walk Dr., Duluth, GA 301 36-61 1 3. 

NAT'L POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE seeks 
videos that foster strong self image of teens. All gen- 
res — art, music, etc. — on video. Send letter of per- 
mission to air. Contact: NPAL, 1626 32nd St. NW, 
ste. 270, Washington, DC 20007. 

NEW AMERICAN MAKERS, nationally recog- 
nized venue for new works by emerging 6k under-rec- 
ognized videomakers at Center for Arts in SF, seeks 
works that challenge boundaries of creative 
video/TV Videomakers receive honorarium of 



$2/min. for tapes. Send VHS tape, $15 entry fee 6k 
SASE to: New American Makers, PO Box 460490, 
San Francisco, CA 94146. 

NEW CITY PRODUCTIONS seeks works-in- 
progress 6k docs on all subjects for monthly screen- 
ings. Committed to promoting ind. community by 
establishing forum of new voices. Have professional 
large screen video 6k 16mm projectors. Prefer projects 
originated on Hi8. Send cassettes to: New City Prods, 
635 Madison Ave., ste. 1101, NY, NY 10022; (212) 
753-1326. 

NEWTON TELEVISION FOUNDATION seeks 
proposals on ongoing basis from ind. producers. NTF 
is nonprofit foundation collaborating w/ ind. produc- 
ers on docs concerning contemporary issues. Past 
works have been broadcast on local 6k national pub- 
lic TV won numerous awards 6k most are currently in 
distribution in educational market. Contact NTF for 
details: 1608 Beacon St., Waban, MA 02168; (617) 
965-8477; ntftg tmn.com; walshntftu aol.com 

NEW TELEVISION seeks video works up to 30 
min. in any genre using medium in artistic ways. 
Screened works receive $110/min. Contact: WGBH, 
125 Western Avenue, Boston MA 02134; eel.: (617) 
492-2777. 

NYC producer 6k marketing consultant seeks various 
short film/videos for inclusion in new television pro- 
grams being produced this Spring. Cycle of hour-long 
programs to be sold to TV networks 6k cable or indi- 
vidual stations for airing. Each program will be com- 
prised of three or four short films, each no more than 
20 min. long, all joined by similar theme or style. For 
more info contact: Mitchell Banks; M6kL Banks; 330 
5th Ave., ste. 304, NY, NY 10001; eel.: (212) 563- 
5944; fax: (212) 563-5949. 

NYU TV, channel 51 in NYC, is offering opportuni- 
ties for inds to showcase finished films 6k videos. 
Submit materials to: Linda Noble, 26 Washington 
Place, 1st fl., NY, NY 10003. 

NYTEX PRODUCTIONS seeks video interviews 
from across US. Looking for political, entertainment, 
6k PSAs in S-VHS or VHS. Send to: NyTex Prods, 
PO Box 303, NY, NY 10101-0303, Attn.: Don 
Cevaro. 

OFFLINE, hour-long, biweekly, national public- 
access show, seeks ind. 6k creative works. Submissions 
should be 3/4", SVHS or VHS 6k should not exceed 
20 min. (longer works will be considered for serializa- 
tion). For more info, contact: Greg Bowman, 203 
Pine Tree Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850; (607) 272-2613. e- 
mail : 72137.3352@compuserve.com. 

ORGONE CINEMA, non-funded monthly 
film/video series, looking for handmade, nature, 
silent, random, noisy, sex, science, home, paranoid 6k 
perverse movies. All formats. Prefer VHS for preview. 
Deadline: Ongoing. Send to: Orgone Cinema 6k 
Archive, 2238 Murray Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217. 

PLANET CENTRAL TELEVISION seeks broad- 
cast-quality films, videos 6k animation censored by 
US TV as too controversial or political. Bonus con- 
siderations for submissions that are smart, funny, sexy 
6k exhibit irreverent attitude. Send tape to: Jay Levin, 
director of program acquisitions, Planet Central 
Television, 309 Santa Monica Blvd., ste. 322, Santa 
Monica, CA 90401; (310) 458-4588. 



50 THE INDEPENDENT April 1995 



PRESCOTT COMMUNITY ACCESS CHAN- 
NEL requests non-commercial programs tor local air- 
ing. No payment, but return by post guaranteed. 
Contact: Jett Robertson, program coordinator, 
Channel 13, PO Box 885, Prescott, AZ; (602) 445- 
0909. 

REEL TIME AT P.S. 122, ongoing quarterly screen- 
ing series, is accepting submissions of recent ind. film 
& video works for 1995 season. Exhibition formats 
include S-S, 16mm, 3/4" & VHS. Send VHS submis- 
sion tapes, written promotion & return postage to: 
Curator, Reel Time, PS. 122, 150 1st Ave., NY, NY 
10009; (212) 477-5829 ( x 327). 

RIGHTS & WRONGS, weekly, nonprofit human 
rights global TV magazine series scheduled to resume 
broadcast in February seeks story ideas & footage tor 

upcoming season. Last yr. 34 programs covering issues 
from China to Guatemala were produced. Contact: 
Danny Schechter or Rory O'Connor, exec, producers, 
The Global Center, 1600 Broadway, ste. 700, NY, NY 
10019; (212) 246-0202; fax: 2677. 

REBIS GALLERIES seeks works by artists work- 
ing in video/film 6k computers. All subjects con- 
sidered. Formats should be in VHS Beta. 8mm, S- 
8, 16mm. For computers 3.5 disks in PC or low 
density Amiga files. Contracts to be negotiated. 
Contact: Rebis Galleries, 1930 S. Broadway, 
Denver, CO 80210; (303) 698-1841. 

REGISTERED seeks experimental and non-nar- 
rative videos about consumerism and/or modern 
ntual for nationally touring screening. Send VHS 
for preview w/ SASE & short description to: 
Registered, Attn.: Joe Sola, PO Box 1960, Peter 
Stuyvesant Station, 432 E. 14th St., NY, NY 
10009. 

SHORT FILM 6k VIDEO: All genres, any medi- 
um, 1 min. to 1 hr. Unconventional, signature 
work in VHS or 3/4" for nat'l broadcast! Submit 
to: EDGE TV, 7805 Sunset Blvd., ste. 203, Los 
Angeles, CA 90046. 

SHORTS SOUGHT by NYC producer 6k mar- 
keting co. for new TV programs being produced 
this spring. Planning cycle of 60-min. programs 
comprising 3-4 thematically linked shorts, 20- 
min. max, bookended by conversations w/about 
mediamakers. Submissions must have no entan- 
gling contracts 6k incl. synopsis, list of prior sub- 
missions, bio 6k SASE. Contact: Mitchell Banks, 
M6kL Banks, 330 5th Ave., ste. 304, NY, NY 10001; 
(212) 563-5944; fax: 5949. 

SCULPTURE CENTER GALLERY invites video 

artists to submit installation concepts for new video 
program. Emerging 6k mid-career artists w/o affilia- 
tion should submit resume, narrative description, 
documentation of previous work on VHS tape, slides 
or photos, (incl. SASE) to: Sculpture Center, 167 E. 
69th St., NY, NY 10021. 

STATEN ISLAND COMMUNITY TELEVISION 
PRODUCER seeks experimental works, all subjects, 
by ind. video 6k film artists. The more explicit, the 
better; film 6k video on 3/4" preferred, but 1/2" 6k/or 
8mm acceptable. Send tapes to: Matteo Masiello, 140 
Redwood Loop, Staten Island, NY 10309. 

SUPER CAMERA, prod, of Office KEI, int'l TV 
company, seeks unique 6k never-before-seen footage. 



* *l^ f 


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EDIT/DUB: HI8 TO BETACAM SP IN COMPONENT 



POST PRODUCTION SERVICES 

Beta-Beta on-line A/B roll edit with SONY DME 450 digital effects 

Beta-Beta edit (2 machine) $75 HI8-Beta edit 

3/4-3/4 edit $55 HI8-3/4 edit 

3/4-3/4 self edit $40 VHS-VHS self edit 

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April 1 993 THE INDEPENDENT 51 



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ADR, mixing. sweetening 

Extensive MIDI, live room, 
digital signal processing 

8 track - 2 track - 3/4" video lockup 

Low Rates/Great Engineers! 

Studio PASS , a program of 
Harvestworks, Inc. 



596 Broadway, #602 
NYC 10012 212-431-1130 



Areas incl. cutting edge of camera tech, footage that 
is dangerous to shoot, such as in volcanoes or under- 
water 6k events from both natural 6k physical science 
worlds. For more info, contact: Makiko I to, Office 
KEI, 1 10 E. 42nd St., ste. 1419, NY, NY 10017; (212) 
983-7479; fax: 7591. 

THE INDEPENDENT FILM CHANNEL 34 seeks 
shorts, experimental films, docs, animation for TV 
broadcast & CD-ROM titles. Send 1/2" or 3/4" tapes 
to: Maureen World, Precis Entertainment Inc. 1 
Irving PI, ste. P20F, NY, NY 10003; (212) 529-9687. 

THE NEWZ, half-hour, late-night comedy TV show 
based on topical news events, is actively seeking sub- 
missions. Footage will be showcased on national 
series. Formats: D2, Beta SP Beta, 3/4", SVHS, VHS, 
or Hi8. Cats: News-style stock shots (skylines, 
panoramas, local landmarks, local sports icons, etc.) 
& comedic shots. Must include signed submissions 
release for stock footage. For info or release form, 
contact: The Newz Submission Line (407) 354-6590. 

THIRD ANNUAL NEW YORK DIGITAL 
SALON, hosted by School of Visual Arts in 
NYC, is seeking computer-assisted artwork or 
catalog essays. Jurors will incl. Regina Cornwell, 
Manuel DeLanda, 6k Ken Feingold. Exhibit 
scheduled for Nov. 1995. Deadline: May 1. To 
enter, send description of work 6k artist's state- 
ment, w/ slides, videotape 6k/or CD-ROM to: 
Timothy Binklcy, chair, NY Digital Salon, SVA, 

rg| 209 E. 23rd St., NY, NY 10010; (212) 592-2535; 

™ J fax: 2509. 

TOXIC TELEVISION seeks broadcast-quality, 
creative video shorts (under 10 min.) for alterna- 
tive TV experience. Looking for works in anima- 
tion, puppetry, experimental, computers, etc. 
Send VHS or 3/4" tape, SASE & resume to: Tom 
Lenz, 12412 Bclfran St., Hudson, FL 34669. 

TV POLONIA is looking for entertainment, 
family, sports, drama & reality programming to fill 
cable TV channel sent to Poland in English w/ 
Polish translations. For more info, send SASE to 
Stetani Kelly, Southfield Park Tower 1 #700, 
12835 E. Arapahoe Rd., Englewood, CO 801 12. 

UNQUOTE TELEVISION, 1/2-hr program 
dedicated to exposing new, innovative film 6k 
video artists, seeks ind. doc, narrative, experi- 
mental, performance works under 28 min. 
Reaches 10 million homes via program exchange 
nationwide. 1/2" 6k 3/4" dubs accepted. Submit to: 
Unquote TV, c/o DUTV 33rd & Chestnut St., 
Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 895-2927. 

URBAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY 
ARTS is accepting video 6k 16mm film in all genres 
for next season of programming. Fee paid if accepted. 
Send VHS tape w/ SASE to: Film Committee, 
UTICA, 88 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids MI 
49503. 

VIEWPOINTS, KQED's showcase of ind. point-of- 
view works, seeks films 6k videos expressing "strong 
statements on important subjects." Submit VHS or 
3/4" tapes (11/2 hr. length preferred) to: Greg Swartz, 
Manager of Broadcast Projects & Acquisitions, 
KQED, 2601 Mariposa St., San Francisco, CA 941 10; 
(415) 553-2269. 

VISION FOOD, weekly public access show in LA 6k 



NYC, seeks visually exciting pieces in all genres (art, 
music 6k film on video). Under 20 min., 1/2", 3/4" 
dubs. No payment, videos credited. Send letter ot 
permission to air material & video to: Jack Holland, 
5432 Edgewood PI., Los Angeles, CA 90019. 

WEIRD TV, satellite TV show airing weekly on 
Telstar 302, specializes in alternative viewing. Will 
consider works of 3 min. max., animation or shorts. 
Submit work to: Weird TV, 1818 W. Victory, 
Glendale, CA 91201; (818) 637-2820. 

WORLD AFRICAN NETWORK (WAN), first 
premium cable network for people of African descent 
worldwide, is accepting submissions for 1995 launch. 
Featuring films, docs, shorts, news 6k info, children's 
programs, sports, concerts, drama series 6k sitcoms. 
Send to: Eleven Piedmont Center, ste. 620, Atlanta, 
GA 30305; (404) 365-8850; fax: 365-8350. 

WNYC-TV seeks films/videos for new prime-time 
series on NY inds. Doc. or experimental (incl. video 
art); under one hour; completed; all rights cleared. 
Pays $35/min. Send VHS, 3/4" or Betacam preview 
tape, to: NY Independents, c/o WNYC-TV, One 
Centre St., rm. 1450, NY, NY 10007. No phone calls, 
please. 

WOMEN OF COLOR in Media Arts Database- 
seeks submissions of films 6k videos for database that 
incl. video filmographies, bibliographical info & data. 
Contact: Dorothy Thigpen, Women Make Movies, 
462 Broadway, 5th fl., NY, NY 10013. 

WYOU-TV, cable -access station in Madison, WI, 
seeks music-related videos for weekly alternative 
music show. Send 1/2" or 3/4" tapes. No payment; 
videos credited. Contact: WYOU-TV, 140 W Oilman 
St., Madison, WI 53703. 

XTV, new, ind. cable TV channel, seeks student & 
ind. works from around country. For more info, call: 
OttoKhera (602) 948-0381. 



Opportunities • Gigs 

ASSISTANT/ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR position 
in Video beginning in Fall 1995. Applicants should 
have Ph.D. or Masters w/ at least 3 years professional 
experience. Appls should incl. vitae ck three refer- 
ences. Send to: Dr. Ted Schwalbe, chair, Dept. of 
Communications, McEwan Hall Room 326. SUNY 
College at Fredonia, Fredonia, NY 14063. EOE/AA. 

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF VIDEO PRO- 
DUCTION & CRITICISM, Hampshire College. 
FAT, fall 1995. Prefer candidates using doc. or mixed 
forms to represent oppressed minorities, or alterna- 
tives to dominant media. Critical/analytical approach 
to issues surrounding cultural prod, essential. 
Strengths in minority/3rd world representation or 
writing for or about media valued. Graduate degree 
ck/or equivalent professional exp. req. Individualized 
liberal arts instruction in innovative setting, opportu- 
nity for cross-disciplinary teaching ck research. Send 
letter, vitae, 3 references to: Video Prod Search 
Committee, School of Communications 6k Cognitive 
Science, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002. 
Appl. review beg. Jan. 15. EOE/AA. Women 6k 
minorities encouraged to apply. 

BOSTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL seeks direc- 
tor 6k associate director to head up 1995 season of 



52 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 995 



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iverse, committed, 
opinionated, and 
fiercely indepen- 
dent — these are the 
video and filmmak- 
ers who make up 
the national mem- 
bership of AIVF. 
Documentary and features filmmak- 
ers, animators, experimentalists, dis- 
tributors, educators, students, cura- 
tors — all concerned that their work 
make a difference — find the 
Association of Independent Video 
and Filmmakers, the national service 
organization tor independent media 
producers, vital to their professional 
lives. Whether it's our magazine, The 
Independent Film &. Video Monthly, 
or the organization raising its collec- 
tive voice to advocate tor important 
issues, AIVF preserves your indepen- 
dence while letting you know you're 
not alone. 

AIVF helps you save time and money 
as well. You'll find you can spend 
more of your time (and less of your 
money) on what you do best — getting 
your work made and seen. To succeed 
as an independent today, you need a 
wealth of resources, strong connec- 
tions, and the best information avail- 
able. So join with more than 5,000 
other independents who rely on AIVF 
to help them succeed. JOIN AIVF 
TODAY! 

Here's whot AIVF membership 
offers: 

THE INDEPENDENT FILM & 
VIDEO MONTHLY 

Membership provides you with a 



year's subscription to The 
Independent. Thought-provoking 

features, news, and regular columns 
on business, technical, and legal mat- 
ters. Plus festival listings, funding 
deadlines, exhibition venues, and 
announcements of member activities 
and new programs and services. 
Special issues highlight regional activ- 
ity and focus on subjects including 
media education and the new tech- 
nologies. 

FESTIVAL SERVICES 

AIVF arranges screenings for festival 
representatives, handles customs and 
group shipping of members' materials 
to foreign festivals, and publishes the 
AIVF Guide to International Film 
and Video Festivals — considered the 
definitive resource in the field. We 
also host periodic evenings with festi- 
val consultants for members to 
receive personalized counseling on 
strategy and placement. 

ACCESS 

Membership allows you to join fellow 
AIVF members at intimate events 
featuring festival directors, producers, 
distributors, and hinders. 

COMMUNITY 

We are initiating monthly member 
get-togethers in cities across the 
country; call the office for the one 
nearest you. Plus members are earn- 
ing on active dialogue online — creat- 
ing a "virtual community" for inde- 
pendents to share information, 
resources, and ideas. 

ADVOCACY 

Members receive periodic advocacy 



alerts, with updates on important leg- 
islative issues affecting the indepen- 
dent field and mobilization for collec- 
tive action. 

INSURANCE 

Members are eligible to purchase dis- 
counted personal and production 
insurance plans through AIVF suppli- 
ers. A wide range of health insurance 
options are available, as well as special 
liability, E&O, and production plans 
tailored for the needs of low-budget 
mediamakers. 

TRADE DISCOUNTS 

A growing list of businesses across the 
country offer AIVF members dis- 
counts on equipment and auto 
rentals, film processing, transfers 
editing, and other production necessi- 
ties. 

WORKSHOPS, PANELS, AND 
SEMINARS 

Members get discounts on events cov- 
ering the whole spectrum of current 
issues and concerns affecting the 
field, ranging from business and aes- 
thetic to technical and political top- 
ics. 

INFORMATION 

We distribute a series of books on 
financing, funding, distribution, and 
production; members receive dis- 
counts on selected titles. AIVF's staff 
also can provide information about 
distributors, festivals, and general 
information pertinent to your needs. 
Our library houses information on 
everything from distributors to sample 
contracts to budgets. 




MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

Individual/Student Membership 

Year's subscription to The Independent • Access to all plans and discounts • 
Festival/Distribution/Library services • Information Services • Discounted 
admission to seminars • Book discounts • Advocacy action alerts • Eligibility 
to vote and run for board of directors 






Non-profit Organizational/Business & Industry Membership 

All the above benefits, except access to insurance plans 
Representative may vote and run for board of directors 
Special mention in The Independent 

Library Subscription 

Year's subscription to The Independent only 



JOIN AIVF TODAY 



-°r" 



Membership Rates 

□ $25/student (enclose copy of student ID) 

□ $45/individual 

Q $75/library subscription 

Q $100/non-profit organization 

□ $150/business &. industry 

□ Magazines are mailed Second-class; add $20 for 
First class mailing 

$ 



Name 



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City 

State 



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Weekday tel. 
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Foreign Mailing Rates 

Q Surface mail 

(incl. Canada & Mexico) - Add $10 
Q Air mail 

— Canada, Mexico, Western Hemisphere- 
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Membership cost 

Mailing costs (if applicable) 

Contribution tO FIVF (make separate tax-deductible check payable to FIVF) 

Total amount enclosed (check or money order ) 
Or please bill my Q Visa Q MC 



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Mail to AIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, NY, NY 10012. 

Or charge by phone (212) 473-3400 or by fax (212) 677-8732. 



this wonderfully successful fest. Strong fundraising 
background is must. Send resume & cover to: BJFF, 
c/o 9 Kelly Rd., Cambridge, MA 02 1 }8. 

DEAN, College of Arts ik Architecture, Montana 
State University, sought. Must have terminal degree 
or excellent record to achieve; progressive record of 
successful administration in college, university, or arts 

advocacy organization. AA/EO/ADA/Veterans 
Preference. Request complete appl. materials from: 
Dean, Arts/Architecture Search, 250 Reid Hall, 
MSU, Bozeman, MT 59717; (406) 994-6752; fax: 
1854. 

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER will help mds find out- 
lets for product. Finished works only incl. films, docs, 
TV pilots & other quality product. Please send work 
on VHS to: John Gabriel Matonti, executive produc- 
er; l o Matonti Enterprises, Inc., 26 Lake Shore Dr., 
Montville, NJ 07045. 

FILM/VIDEO ARTS has internships avail, in NYC. 
Minimum 6-mo. commitment. In exchange tor at 
least 16 hrs./wk. of work, interns receive free 
media courses, access to equipment 6k postprod. 
facilities at nonprofit media arts center. Appls. 
must have plan tor ind. project. Film/video knowl- 
edge helpful. Deadline: Ongoing. Contact: Intern 
Program, Film/Video Arts, 817 Broadway, 2nd fl., 
NY, NY 10003; (212) 673-9361. 

HEAD, DEPT OF MEDIA ARTS, University of 
Arizona. Salary commensurate w/ experience. 
Demonstrated success in admin, position; distin- 
guished rep in Media Artrs; earned terminal 
degree. Responsible tor all admin, aspects of 
Media Arts dept. incl. providing leadership & 
Advocacy for diverse &. progressive dept.; finan- 
cial development; foster innovative Media Arts 
curricula. Start date July 1. Send CV 6k names of 
at least 4 refs to: Michael Gillette, chair, Dept. of 
Media Arts Search Committee, Office of Dean of 
Fine Arts, Music 111, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 
85721. EOE/ADA/AA. 

VIDEO CAMERAWOMEN needed to work as 
stringers covering local events throughout US for 
Dyke TV, weekly NYC cable TV show. For info, 
call (212) 343-9335; fax: 9337. 



Publications 

AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM STATISTICS & 
MARKETING STRATEGIES is thorough volume 
of data of value to any African American filmmaker 
trying to raise funds. Incl. are stats on profits of black- 
directed films since 1970 6k numbers for theatrical 
releases 6k home video. Send $29.95 to: Greener 
Grass Prods, 1041 W. 98th St., Chicago, IL 60643; 
(312) 779-8717. 

ANIMATION JOURNAL, peer-reviewed scholarly 
journal devoted to animation history /theory, wel- 
comes submissions. Manuscripts should be double - 
spaced, following Chicago Manual of Style. Papers are 
blind-referred, so author's name should not appear on 
body of manuscript, only on attached cover sheet. 
Send 2 copies, 1 hard (paper) copy 6k 1 copy on com- 
puter disk, preferably Mac in Microsoft Word file. 
Send SASE for returns. Deadlines: July 1 for spring 
issue. For more info, call or fax (714) 544-6255, or 
write: Dr. Maureen Furniss, editor, AJ Press, 2011 





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Russian history — from before the 
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To find out more, give us a call. 

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Kingsboro Circle, Tustin, CA 92680-6733; e-mail: 
maureen(« aol.com. 

CAMCORDER GUIDE by James Carrasco incl. 12 
easy ways to shoot video like pros. Limited number 
avail, for free. Send $1 S6kH to: Camcorder Guide, c/o 
James Carrasco, PO Box 1231, Madera, CA 93639; 
(209) 252-4633. 

CHICAGO FILMLETTER, magazine for those into 
film/TV prod., covers both ind. & Hollywood on- 
location prod, in Chicago. Also contains listing of job 
opportunities, film classes 6k day-by-day calendar of 
film-related events. For more info, contact: Al Cohn, 
Chicago Filmletter, 1532 N. Milwaukee Ave., 
Chicago, IL; (312) 235-3456. 

CONCERNS, publication of Women's Caucus for 
the Modern Languages, invites manuscripts on femi- 
nist involvement in development of film studies an 
academic discipline. Suggested issues of interest inch: 
What has feminist contribution been to the disci- 
pline? How might it be characterized? What's 
women's influence been on the research and 
teaching interests (6k practices) of the discipline.' 
What's status of women in the profession? 
Anticipated date of publication is late '95, early 
'96. Send submissions to: Harriet Margolis, 
Theater 6k Film, Victoria University, Wellington, 
New Zealand: e-mail: 

harrier. margolisC" vuw.ac.nz; fax: 00 64 4 495 
5090. 

CRITICAL CONDITIONS: ARTS CRITI- 
CISM IN MINNESOTA IN THE NINETIES 

is comprehensive 92-page report 6k assessment of 
outlook for arts coverage in state. Edited by 
Patrice Clark Koelsch 6k compiled 6k written by 
Roy M. Close, it is culmination of two-year survey 
of trends in arts coverage in state's daily 6k week- 
ly newspapers, magazines, electronic media 6k 
elsewhere. To order, send $10 to: The Center for 
Arts Criticism, 2402 University Ave. West, Saint 
Paul, MN 55114. For price info on bulk orders, 
call the Center at (612) 644-5501. 

DEALMAKING IN THE FILM & TELEVI- 
SION INDUSTRY provides layman's guide to 
hazards of dealmaking in Hollywood 6k "self- 
defense" tactics for filmmakers. Author Mark 
Litwak is entertainment attorney 6k advocate for 
ind. filmmakers. Book available in stores Mar. 31. 

FCC REPORT: Learn your rights to leased access 
time, as FCC describes them. Get report 6k order on 
rate regulations from FCC. Outlines Cable Act of 
1992 6k how it affects leased access. Send $39 to: 
FCC Report, PO Box 4591, Chico, CA 95927. 

GAUNTLET, Exploring Limits of Free Expression, is 
open forum on First Amendment Rights covering 
issues of pornography, racism, film censorship, media 
manipulation, prostitution, cults, sexual harassment, 
etc. For copies or more info, send SASE to: Barry 
Hoffman, editor, 309 Powell Rd., PR94A, Springfield, 
PA 19064. 

GUIDELINES TO INTERNATIONAL PROD.: 
Info on shooting overseas. Topics cover everything 
from pre- to postprod. Incl. chapters on int'l stan- 
dards 6k formats, insurance, using foreign crew, int'l 
contacts 6k tips on how to keep out of jail. Written by 
David Calderwood, experienced int'l producer, 
respected conference presenter 6k widely published 



54 THE INDEPENDENT April 1995 



author. Send $15 to: Euro-Pacific Prods, 703 Broad 
St., Shrewsbury, NJ 07702; (908) 530-4451. 

HOLLYWOOD SCRIPT READERS' DIGEST 

showcases outlines of avail, screenplays & TV series 
concepts. Regularly distributed free to hundreds of 
established TV 6k film prod, cos., ind. producers, lit 
agents, etc. For $100, will publish your screenplay 
synopsis of not more than 150 words; $200 for 251- 
300 words; $400 for 351-500 words. For TV series 
ideas, 300- word proposal costs $150; up to 400 words 
is $225; up to 500 words, $275. Send name, phone 
number, typed proposal 6k cashier's check or m.o. to: 
The HSRD, 3917 Riverside Dr., ste. 9433, Burbank, 
CA 91505; (818) 954-0425. 

JACK MACKEREL VIDEO MAGAZINE, quarter- 
ly video compilation on VHS videocassette, is accept- 
ing submissions of short films, music videos, docs, 
interviews w/ artists, erotica, computer-generated 
imagery 6k animation 6k video/film whatnot. Send 
contributions (VHS format) to Jack Mackerel Video 
Magazine, PO Box 80024, Minneapolis, MN 55408- 
8024; attn.: Greg Bachar. (Send $5 cash tor sample 
volume.) 

MONEY FOR FILM & VIDEO ARTISTS, publi- 
cation listing more than 190 sources of support for 
ind. film- 6k videomakers, is avail, for $14-95 + s6kh. 
Contact: Doug Rose, ACA Books, dept. 25, 1285 
Ave. of the Americas, 3rd fl., area M, NY, NY 10019. 

NATIONAL VIDEO RESOURCES' Strategic 
Plan, 24-page booklet on NVR's strategic planning 
process 6k results. For free copy, write or call: 
National Video Resources, Inc., 73 Spring St., ste. 
606, NY, NY 10012; (212) 274-8080. 

NE FOUNDATION FOR THE HUMANITIES 

offers paperback transcript of '93 nat'l conference, 
"Telling the Story: The Media, The Public 6k 
American History." Historians, filmmakers, public 
programming pros explore ways in which Americans 
learn about history. Send $12.50 (MA residents add 
5% sales tax) to: NEFH, 46 Temple PL, 4th fl., 
Boston, MA 02111. 

PROTECTING ARTISTS 6k THEIR WORK, 

publication of People for the American Way, answers 
questions regarding artists' rights as well as federal 6k 
state law. To request copy, call People for the 
American Way (202) 467-4999. 

SIX ROUTES TO FILM FINANCING, free tip 
sheet published by Hollywood Film Institute, breaks 
down 6 basic ways producers can finance films. For 
free copy, contact: Hollywood Film Institute, PO Box 
481252, Dept. 1, Los Angeles, CA 90048; (213) 933- 
3456. 

VIDEOS FOR CHANGING WORLD, new cata- 
log of multicultural 6k social issue video docs. Videos 
in collection relate to common themes of building 
bridges across cultures 6k working for grassroots social 
change. Topics incl.: indigenous peoples, Central 
America, environmental issues, cross-cultural music 
6k theater, oral history, etc. Avail, free. Contact: 
Turning Tide Prods, PO Box 864, Wendell, MA 
01379; (800) 557-6414, (508) 544-8313; fax: 7989. 

WHO FUNDS PTV? CPB pamphlet containing list- 
ings of public -TV series, entities, 6k organizations that 
provide funding to ind. producers. To obtain copy of 
third edition, send SASE to: Who Funds PT\ M , CPB 



Publications Office, 901 E St. NW, Washington, DC. 

20004-2037. 



Resources • Funds 

CHICAGO RESOURCE CENTER awards grants 
to nonprofits who serve gay 6k lesbian community. For 
more info, contact: Chicago Resource Center, 104 S. 
Michigan Ave., ste. 1220, Chicago, IL 60603; (312) 
759-8700. 

CREATIVE SCREENWRITERS GROUP, nat'l 
organization dedicated to advancement of writing, is 
launching free service for everyone interested in 
improving their writing skills. CSG will provide assis- 
tance to anyone interested in joining writers' group in 
his her community. CSG also provides info on how to 
form new groups. Send name, address 6k phone w/ 
description of writing interests 6k SASE to: Creative 
Screenwriters Group, 518 9th St. NE, ste. 308, 
Washington, DC 20002. 

DCTV ARTISTIN-RESIDENCE is now 

accepting appls. tor $500 worth ot equipment 
access on ongoing basis w/in one year. When 1 
funded project is complete, DCTV will review 
appls. on file 6k select next project. Preference 
given to projects already underway. For appl., send 
SASE to: AIR, co DCTV, 87 Lafayette St., NY. 
NY 10013-4435. 

HEART OF AMERICA AWARDS The 

American Legion Auxiliary is currently accepting 
nominations for this year's Heart of America 
Awards, given to print and broadcast professionals 
who make positive contributions to American 
Women, children, and families by informing the 
public on timely issues, by providing valuable or 
thought-provoking information, or by promoting a 
positive image of women and children in our soci- 
ety. Categories are Film/Videotape/Multimedia, 
Audio Productions, and Magazine/Newspaper. 
Deadline: May 1. For an entry form write: 
American Legion Auxiliary, 777 North Meridian, 
3rd FL, Indianapolis, IN 46204-1189. 

HUMANITIES PROJECTS IN MEDIA admin- 
istered by NEH have deadline of Sept. 1995 Spe- 
cific day not yet avail.) tor projects beginning after 
April 1, 1996. 20 copies of appl. required on or 
before deadline. For appl., guidelines, write: 
National Endowment for the Humanities, Division ot 
Public Programs, Humanities Projects in Media, mi. 
420, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 
20506; (202) 606-8278. 

JAPAN FOUNDATION is providing film prod, sup- 
port to experienced ind. or corp. tor prod, of films, TV 
programs, or other a/v materials that further under- 
standing of Japan 6k Japanese culture abroad. 
Contact: Japan Foundation, 152 West 57th St., 39th 
fl., NY, NY 10019; (212) 489-0299. 

LEDIG HOUSE WRITER'S COLONY offers pub- 
lished writers 6k translators quiet workplace, meals, 
lodging, 6k meetings w/ other writers at Ledig House 
in Columbia County, NY. 2-month sessions 3 times/yr. 
For appl. info contact: Ledig House, ART/OMI, 55 
5th Ave., 15th fl., NY, NY 10003; (212) 206-6060. 

LOUISIANA CENTER FOR CULTURAL 
MEDIA now makes professional camera packages 6k 



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SONY, BETACAM SP CAMCORDER 
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post-production for artists and inde- 
pendent producers at discounted 
rates. ♦ Services include: interformat 
editing to 1" and D2, small format 
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AIVF JOINT MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM 

Stretch your dollars by becoming a joint member of AIVF and one of the 
following partner organizations; get full member benefits in both organizations 

for one discounted fee! 

BOSTON FILM/VIDEO FOUNDATION 

1126 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215; (617) 5364540 

CHICAGO FILMMAKERS 

1543 West Division Street, Chicago, IL 60622; (312) 384-5533 

IMAGE FILMA^IDEO CENTER 

75 Bennett Street, Suite M-l, Atlanta, GA 30309; (404) 352-4225 

NEWTON TELEVISION FOUNDATION 

1608 Beacon Street, Waban, MA 02168; (617) 965-8477 

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cuts-only editing systems avail, free to indivs. who 
agree to produce arts 6k heritage programming regu- 
larly 6k exclusively for Cultural Cable Channel of 
New Orleans. To qualify, interested parties must be 
members of Cultural Communications ($35/yr.) 6k 
will have to produce minimum of 6 shows 6k com- 
plete at least 1 program per month. For more info, 
contact: Mark J. Sindler, exec, director, Cultural 
Cable Channel (504) 529-3366. 

LYN BLUMENTHAL MEMORIAL FUND FOR 
IND. VIDEO: Grants go to individuals 6k collectives 
for video prod. Fund seeks work that aims to do any 
or all of following: test limits of technology; extend 
language ot personal expression; question aesthetic 
convention; explore complex issues of gender, sexual- 
ity 6k cultural identity; challenge prevailing social sys- 
tem. Prod, grants $l,000-$3,000. Fund encourages 
projects that make use of newly evolving/small-for- 
mat media technologies w/ low budgets ($6,000 or 
less). Deadline: Sept. 15. Write for appl. form 6k fund- 
ing guidelines. No phone calls. Write: Lyn 
Blumenthal Memorial Fund for Ind. Video, PO 
Box 3514, Church St. Station, NY, NY 10007. 

MACDOWELL COLONY seeks film/video 
artists for residencies ot up to 2 mos. at multidis- 
ciplinary artist community in Peterborough, NH. 
Deadlines: Apr. 15 (Sept. -Dec), Sept. 15 (Jan.- 
Apnl). Ability to pay not factor for acceptance. 
Ltd. travel grants avail. Write or call for info, 
appl.: MacDowell Colony, 100 High St., 
Peterborough, NH 03458; (603) 924-3886. 

MEDIA ALLIANCE assists NYC artists 6k non- 
profit organizations in using state-of-art equip- 
ment, postprod. 6k prod, facilities at reduced 
rates. Contact: Media Alliance, c/o WNET, 356 
W 58th St., NY, NY 10019; (212) 560-2919. 

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE 
HUMANITIES is accepting proposals to any of 
its six divisions that address any of complex top- 
ics 6k themes related to American pluralism 6k 
identity. For further info, deadlines 6k guidelines 
write to: NEH, rm. 406, 1 100 Pennsylvania Ave., 
N.W, Washington, D.C. 20506; (800) NEH- 
1121. 

NY FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS awards 
Artists' Fellowships to individual NY artists. 
Applicants must be 18 year 6k older, resident ot 
NY for at least 2 yrs. Cannot be grad or undergrad 
student, NYFA recipient of last 3 yrs, or employee or 
board member of foundation. For more info, call 
NYFA at (212) 366-6900. 

POLLOCK-KRASNER FOUNDATION gives 
financial assistance to artists of recognizable merit 6k 
financial need working as mixed-media or installation 
artists. Grants awarded throughout yr., $1,000- 
$30,000. For guidelines, write: Pollock-Krasner 
Foundation, 725 Park Ave., NY, NY 10021. 

PRINCESS GRACE FOUNDATION-USA makes 
awards to thesis film students enrolled in accredited 
film programs. Please write to determine if your 
school/university is eligible to apply. Jennifer Reis, 
Director of Grants Programs, Princess Grace 
Foundation, 725 Park Ave., NY, NY 10021. 

THE SAN FRANCISCO FOUNDATION is seek- 
ing candidates for its 1995-96 Multicultural 
Fellowship Program, established to advance profes- 



56 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 995 



sionals from underrepresented ethnic groups in non- 
profit service through work experience in a major 
foundation. The Fellowship is a F/T, one-year assign- 
ment, beginning June/July, assisting a program execu- 
tive in research, analysis and grantmaking in one of 
six program areas: Arts/Humanities, Community 
Health, Education, Environment, Social Services or 
Urban Affairs. Requirements: self-directed person 
with demonstrated interest in nonprofit service; 
strong writing, communication, and analytical skills; 
volunteer experience and/or work background in one 
of the specific program areas. Master's degree pre- 
ferred. Stipend: $27,000 plus benefits. Applications 
will be reviewed through April 15, 1995. Send letter 
of inquiry with resume to Paula Jackson, The San 
Francisco Foundation, 685 Market Street, Suite 910, 
San Francisco, CA 94105. Details on Arts Wire 
(AWNEWS Item 651.) 

SCREENWRITING COMPETITION Third 
annual contest awards outstanding screenwriters and 
playwrights for their original literary work. Entries 
-will be accepted from Jan. 6 and must be post- 
marked by April 18. Please include a $10 entry 
fee. Winners will be chosen by July 12. First prize: 
$2,500; Second prize: $1,500; Third prize: $500. 
Please send SASE for return of materials. Mail 
entries to: Parkplace Productions, PO Box 48703, 
Doraville, GA 30362. 

TRAVEL GRANTS FUND FOR ARTISTS 

makes grants to US artists to enhance their pro- 
fessional growth through short-term int'l experi- 
ences that enable them to collaborate w/ col- 
leagues. Indiv. media artists should contact Arts 
International for 1994 appls. & guidelines at: Arts 
Int'l, 809 United Nations Plaza, NY, NY 10017; 
(212) 984-5370. 

VISUAL STUDIES WORKSHOP MEDIA 
CENTER in Rochester, NY, accepts proposals on 
ongoing basis for its Media Access program. 
Artists, ind. producers & nonprofits awarded 
access at reduced rates, prod. 6k postprod. equip- 
ment for work on noncommercial projects. For 
appl., tour, or more info, call (716) 442-8676. 

WRITERS WORKSHOP NATIONAL 
SCR1PTWRITING CONTEST is accepting 
scripts from throughout US. 5 to 6 winners will be 
chosen to receive $500 cash award. Winners also 
receive free tuition for critical evaluation of 
scripts before panel of motion picture agents, produc- 
ers, writers 6k directors. This program continues 
throughout year. For submission info, send legal size 
SASE w/ 60? postage to: Willard Rogers, Writers 
Workshop National Contest, PO Box 69799, Los 
Angeles, CA 90069; (213) 933-9232. 



LOOKING FOR WORK? 

Let others know you're out there! 

Each month, dozens of DPs, cinematogra- 
phers, editors, and composers find jobs 
through The Independents Classifieds. 

Ads cost just $25 for AIVF mem- 
bers, $35 for non-members. Pay by 

check, Mastercard, or VISA. See 

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April 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 57 




By M arth aWallner 



CHICAGO 

MEDIAMAKERS GET 

ORGANIZED 



i 



ndependent producers, artists, and arts organi- 
zations in Chicago began 1995 with a flurry of 
advocacy activity. The Chicago Arts Strike Force, 
initially formed in response to the abolition of the 
National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) region- 
al regrant programs, has expanded its agenda to 
include advocacy for the preservation of the NEA 
and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting 
(CPB). The group is working on the production of 
PSAs and is pursuing the development of new 
regional funding sources, including an artists' trust 
and a video rental or filmgoers' tax. 

In late January, Margaret Caples of the 
Community Film Workshop and independent pro- 
ducer Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films repre- 
sented another coalition, the Chicago Area Film 
and Video Network (CAFVN), in a discussion of 
government funding of CPB and NEA on Chicago 
Tonighi, a public affairs program on PBS affiliate, 
WTTW. CAFVN, which unites producers, dis- 
tributors, public access cable, and media art cen- 
ters, is expecting to make more media appear- 
ances after it issues a press release in late February 
on the impact that government cuts to CPB and 
NEA will have on Chicago's independent media 
arts community. 

"Cry 'Foul' Now!," reads a flyer being distrib- 
uted by Kartemquin Films in front of local the- 
aters showing their successful documentary, Hoop 
Dreams. The flyer reminds viewers that seed 
money for the project came from both the CPB 
and NEA. 

What Has Grassroots 
and a Dialtone? 

In January, indies quickly mobilized phone trees to 
alert their colleagues to the CPB rescission hear- 



ings held on January 19 by the Labor, Health, and 
Human Services Subcommittee of the House 
Appropriations Committee. Advocates in the San 
Francisco Bay Area, including members of Film 
Arts Foundation, focused on Rep. Frank Riggs, a 
potential swing vote. Working from local phone 
lists and a list of AIVF members in the area, 
Chicagoans urged people to contact subcommit- 
tee chairman Rep. John Porter from Wilmette, IL. 
The AIVF board made calls to AIVF members in 
every state with a subcommittee member. 
According to ITVS' Suzanne Stenson, the Hill 
received a flood of calls in support of CPB. 

Californians Caucus 

On February 18 a number of organizations, 
including FAF and the National Alliance of 
Media Arts and Culture (NAM AC), hosted a 
regional town hall meeting, "Federal Arts 
Funding: An Endangered Species. 7 " California 
Rep. Nancy Pelosi and other Bay Area congres- 



sional reps were present to gather information 
from arts advocates on the impact of proposed 
cuts to the NEA, NEH, and CPB. 

On February 25, NAMAC hosted a meeting 
to plan its next conference, "Rewiring Our 
Networks: Cultural Equity and the Information 
Superhighway." The Oakland meeting, which 
was attended by Rep. Ron Dellums and other 
Bay Area community leaders, was linked by 
video conferencing with a similar gathering in 
Los Angeles, hosted by Visual Communications. 
Organizer Norman Jayo says, "The planning 
meeting will center on finding real strategies to 
empower our communities for the information 
age" and the goal of the conference, planned for 
fall, is both to "maximize opportunities to shape 
information infrastructure policy and access." 

Martha Wallrier is advocacy coordinator for 
AIVF For more information, call her at (212) 

473-3400. 



Remembering your roots: The Kartemquin folks pulling out the stops 
for the NEA and CPB. 






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58 THE INDEPENDENT April 1995 



B 



MEMORANDA continued from p. 60 

• General support fur executive director and staff. 

Board nominations must be made by current AIVF 
members in good Standing. Board members must be at 
least 19 years old. To make a nomination, send or fax the 
name, address, and phone number of nominee and nomi- 
nator (no nominations taken by phone). We will also 
accept nominations at AIVF's annual meeting on April 7. 

SUCCESSFUL GRANT 
APPLICATIONS 

We are thrilled to announce that the National 
Endowment for the Humanities has sent us an 
enormous package of successful proposals that it 
has funded in the past. Because the NEH require- 
ments are so demanding, these applications are in 
a way exemplars of grantsmanship; members can 
learn a great deal from reviewing how materials 
are presented and how projects are pitched in this 
kind of major institutional context. (It only 
gets easier from here.) 

The NEH materials are available for review 
during regular library hours (1 1 am to 6 pm, 
Monday through Friday) . 

TRADE DISCOUNT UPDATES 

More new discounts! We've just signed up with 
Business Advantage through Trans National 
Communications, Inc. Members save up to 25 per- 
cent on long distance telecommunications and also 
save up to 40% on overnight air express service. 
The Business Advantage long distance features 
include: low flat interstate rates based on usage — 
not distance — with volume discounts retroactive 
to your first call; guaranteed low rates tor interna- 
tional calls to the 40 most frequently called loca- 
tions; detailed management reports for cost control 
and no installation or transfer fees. For information 
call (800) 435-6235. (Promocode: 04641005) 

Now AIVF members are also entitled to savings 
on overnight air express services from Airborne 
Express. You can save up to $6.25 — or more — on 
every overnight letter that it sends. Member rate is 
$9.25 for an 8 oz. overnight Letter Express. If you 
ship more than 10 packages a month you will be 
eligible for even greater savings, with Airborne's volume 
rates starting at $8.75 per 8 oz. overnight Letter Express. 
If you ship 20 or more packages per month, save even 
more! Call (800) 642-4292 and you will receive a free 
starter kit to start shipping and saving. (Discount code: 
1340130100) 

Members will receive a mailing with information about 
both ot these great new member benefits. It's a win-win 
situation: not only do you get low-cost services, also even' 
time you use one of these services Business Advantage will 
give a percentage of your monthly bill back to AIVF. So do 
us both a favor and take advantage of these new member 
discounts. 

Also, in New York, DuArt now offers members nego- 
tiable discounts on color negative developing, workpnnt- 
ing, blow-ups from 16mm and S-16mm to 35mm, and 
titles. Duart, 245 West 55th St., NY NY 10019; contact 
David Fisher, (212) 757-4580, x 637. 



The Foundation for Independent Video and Film (FTVF), the foundation affiliate of the Association 
tor Independent Video and Filmmakers (AJVF), supports a variety ot programs and services tor the 
independent media conimunrty, including publication of T/ie huLpLTuknit, operation ot the Festival 
Bureau, seminars and workshops, and an information clearing house. None of this work would be pos- 
sible without the generous support of the ATVF membership and the following organizations: 

The Center tor Arts Criticism, Consolidated Edison Conip. iny i if New York, Funding Exchange, John D. and 
Catherine T Mac, Arthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Video Resources, The New 
Yirk Community Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Andy Warhol 
Foundation tor the Visual Arts, Inc. 

We also wish to thank the following individuals and organizational members: 

Benefactors: Patrons: Sponsors: 

Invin W Youiu; Jeffrey Levy-Hinte Rilph Arlyek, George C. Stoney 

Business/Industry Members: 

Avid Technology, Tewksbury, MA; BKL Productions, New York, NY; Kelli Barraco, Dallas, TX; Blackside 
Inc., Boston, MA; Burton Mountain Films, Batesville, VA; Jonatlian Cohen, New York, NY; Creative Image 
Enterpriser, Miami, FL; Fallon McEUigott, Minneapolis, MN; KC Productions, Inc.. Aiken, SC; KJM3 
Entertainment Group, New York, NY; Lamp Inc., Capitan, New Mexico; Learning Seed Co., Kildeer, IL; Joseph 
W McCarthy, Brooklyn, NY; NYTV Lebanon, NJ; On Top Productions, Haverhill, MA; Passport Cinemas, 
Albany, NY; Barbara Roberts, New York, NY; SchurT Productions, Portland, OR; Robert L. Sergei, ESA, Fresh 
Meadows, NY; Telluride Film Festival, Telluride, CO; Tribune Pictures, New York, NY; URBAN Productions, 
Glebe, Australia: Westend Films, New York, NY; White Night Productions, San Diego, CA; WNET/1 3, NY, NY; 
Paul Van Der Grift, Princeton, NJ 

Nonprofit Members 

ACS Network Productions, Washington, DC; Alternate Current, New York, NY; American Film Institute, 
Lis Angeles, CA; Ann Arbor Community Access TV Ann Arbor, MI; Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, MI; 
Appalshop, Whitesburg, KY; John Armstrong,, Brooklyn, NY; Art Matters Inc., New York, NY; Assemblage, New 
York, NY; Athens Center tor Film 6k Video, Athens, OH; Bennu Productions, Yonkers, NY; Benton Foundation, 
Washington, DC; Biblioteket AVD Hans Strom, Volda, Norway; Black Planet Productions, New York, NY; 
Blackside, Inc., Boston, MA; Breckenridge Festival of Film, Breckenridge, CO; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA; 
Carved Image Productions, New York, NY; Center tor New American Media, New York, NY; Chicago Access 
Girp., Chicago, IL; Cliicago Video Project, Chicago, IL; Cituma LTDA Film and Video Productions, Bogota, 
Columbia; Coe Film .Associates, New York, NY; Gilelli Productions, Gilumbus, OH; Gilumbia GiUegeTilm & 
Video Dept., Chicago, IL; Gilumbus Gimmunity Cable Acess, Gilumbus, OH; Gimmand Communications, Rye 
Brook, NY; Common Voice Films, New York, NY; MHCC Communication Arts, Gresham, OR; Gimmunity 
Television Network, Chicago, IL; Denver International Film Society, Denver, CO; State University of New York- 
Buffalo, Buffalo, NY; Duke University, Durham, NC; Dyke TV New York, NY; Eclipse Communications, 
Springfield, MA; Edison-Black Maria Film Festival, Jersey City, NJ; Educational Video Center, New York, NY; 
Edwards Films, Eagle Bridge, NT; Empowerment Project, Cliape! Hill, NC; Eximus Gimpany, Fort Lauderdale, FL; 
Fallout Shelter Producnons, Mansfield, OH; The Film Crew, Woodland Hills, CA; Fox Chapel High School, 
Pittsburgh, PA; Gav Men's Health Crisis, New York, NY; Great Lakes Film and Video, Milwaukee, WI; Idaho 
State University, Pocatello, ID; International Cultural Programming, New York, NY; International Audiochrome, 
Rye, NY; International Film Seminars, New York, NY; ITVS, St. Paul, MN; Jewish Film Festival, Berkeley, CA; The 
Jewish Museum, New York, NY; Komplex Studio Merdeka, Sefangor, Malaysia; Little City Foundation/Media Arts, 
Palatine, IL; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA; Long Bow Group, Brookline, MA; Manhattan 
Neighborhood Network, New York, NY; Milestone Entertainment, Irving, TX; Missoula Gimmunity Access, 
Missoula MT NAATA, San Francisco, CA; NAMAC, Oakland, CA; KCET National Latino Gimmunity 
Center^KCET, Los Angeles, CA; National Center for Film ck Video Preservation, Los Angeles, CA; National Video 
Resources, New York, NY; Neighborhood FilmMdeo Project, Philadelphia, PA; Neon, Inc., New York, NY; New 
Image Productions, Las Vegas, NV; 91 1 Media Arts Center, Seattle, WA; One Eighty One Productions, New 
York, NY; Outside in July, New York, NY; Paul Robeson Fund'Funding Exchange, New York, NY; Pennsylvania 
State University, University Park, PA; Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, PA; Pro Videographers, Morton Gove, 
IL; Promontory Point Films, Albany, NY; University of Nebrska-Lineoln, Lincoln, NE; Medina Rich, New York, 
NY; Ross-Gafney, New York, NY; San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA; Schcxil of the .Art Institute, 
Clucago, IL; Scribe Video Center, Philadelphia, PA; Southwest Alternate Media Project, Houston, TX; Squeaky 
Wheel, Buffalo, NY; Strato Films, Hollywood, CA; Sundance Institute, Los Angeles, CA; SUNY/Buffalo-Dept. 
Media Studies, Buffalo, NY; Swiss Institute, New York, NY; Terrace Films, Brooklyn, NY; Tucson Gimmunity Gible 
Girp., Tucson, AZ; LICLA Film & Video Archive, Los Angeles, CA; University' of Southern Florida, Tampa, FL; 
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI; UMAB/Schtxil of Social Work Media 
Gnter, Baltimore, MD; University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; USA Film Festival, Dallas, TX; Vancouver Film 
Schcxil, Vancouver British Columbia; Veritas International, Elsah, IL; Video Data Bank, Clucago, IL; View Video, 
New Yirk, NY; Virginia Festival of American Film, Charlottesville, VA; West Hollyvvixxl Public Access, West 
Hollywood, CA; Women Make Movies, New York, NY; Yann Beauvais, Pans; York University' Libraries, North 
Yirk, Guano; Zeitgeist Film, Tampa, FL 



April 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 59 



//-^. 



jVferr?oranda 



By Pamela Calvert 




UPCOMING EVENTS 

MEET & GREET 

These are opportunities for members to meet pro- 
ducers, distributors, funders, programmers, and 
others, to exchange information in an informal 
atmosphere at the AIVF offices. Free; open to 
AIVF members only. Limited to 20 participants. 
RSVP required. 

CAROLINE KAPLAN, director, program develop- 
ment 

Bravo NetworkAThe Independent Film Channel 
New cable cliannel showcasing independent media 
When: Thursday, May 11, 6:30 pm 

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING 

The AIVF annual membership meeting will be 
held Friday evening, April 7, at Anthology Film 
Archives, 32 Second Ave., NYC. This year's 
meeting will feature a sneak preview screening. 
The meeting is open to all; AIVF members will 
receive a separate notice in the mail. 

SEMINAR SERIES 

CLOSE-UP ON THE 

REAL FESTIVAL CIRCUIT 

This four-week series will take a close look at fes- 
tivals throughout the U.S. and overseas. Each ses- 
sion will focus on a different type of media, recog- 
nizing the variety of specialized festivals that mak- 
ers can approach with their work. Panels will 
include festival representatives and makers, and 
will provide targeted, specific, useful information. 

April 3: Shorts - Gunter Minas, Mannheim 
Film Festival; Peter Sillen; Robert Withers, NY 
Expo of Short Film and Video 

April 10: Video - Kit Fitzgerald; Marion 
Masone, NY Video Festival; Bart Weiss, director, 
Dallas Video Festival 

April 17: Documentary - Joe Berlinger; Elaine 
Charnov, Margaret Mead/Human Rights Watch 
Film Festivals; tba 

April 24: Narrative Features - Lawrence 
Kardish, New Directors/New Films; Mary Jane 
Skalski, Good Machine; tba 
At Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave., NYC. All 
programs at 6:30 pm. Panels in formation and subject 
to change. Single session: $15 members; $20 others. 




Series of 4: $50 members; $75 others. Seating limit- 
ed. Preregistratkm wl payment required to hold place. 

20TH ANNIVERSARY 
CELEBRATION: 
FIERCELY INDEPENDENT 

The Donnell Library hosts a series 
of conversations: Two makers each 
evening will show their work and talk about the 
thrills, chills, challenges and triumphs of the inde- 
pendent life. Each program pairs an emerging 
young maker with one in mid- career to compare 
notes and see how the field has developed these 
past two decades. 

April 27: Michel Negroponte (Jupiter's Wife) 
&. Nina Davenport (Hello Photo); Moderator: 
Barbara Abrash 

May 18: Isaac Julien {Looking for Langston) 6k 
Karim Ainouz {Seams); Moderator: Wellington 
Love 

June 8: Barbara Hammer (Nitrate Kisses) 6* 
Cheryl Dunye (Greetings from Africa); 
Moderator: Robin Vachal 

All programs at the Donnell Library Center, 20 West 
53rd Street, at 6 pm. Admission free and open to the 
public. No reservation necessary, but seating is limit- 
ed. Programs May 18 and June 8 co-sponsored by the 
New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. 

INDEPENDENT CD-ROM PRODUCTION 

The American Museum of the Moving Image 
hosts a panel and demonstration of the creative 
and pioneering work being done by independents 
in the emerging multi-media technologies. Four 
independent interactive media producers/design- 
ers will discuss the challenges and rewards of do- 
it-yourself CD-ROM production in today's wide- 
open marketplace, and demonstrate their current 
work. "Start-up" information on training and 
equipment access will also be distributed. 
Panelists include Rodney Allan Greenblatt 
(Dazzeloids) , Tony Grossman and Sondra 
Desmond (Duelin Firemen), and others. 

When: Sunday, May 21, 2-5 pm 

Where: American Museum of the Moving 
Image, 35th Avenue at 36th Street, Astoria, NY 

Cost: $7 AIVF & AMMI members; $10 others 
Limited seating; advance purchase suggested. To 
charge by phone and for transit information, please 
call (718) 784-4520. 

"MANY TO MANY" 
MONTHLY MEMBER SALONS 

This is a monthly opportunity for members to dis- 
cuss work, meet other independents, share war 
stories, and connect with the AIVF community 
across the country. Note: since our copy deadline 
is two months before the meetings listed below, be 
sure to call the local organizers to confirm that 
there have been no last-minute changes. 



Albany, NY: 

When: April 6, May 4, 6:30 pm 

Where: Mother Earth's Cafe, Quail Street 

Contact: Mike Camoin, (518) 895-5269 
Boston: 

When: April 10, May 9, 7 pm 

Wltere: April: Multi-Vision, 161 Highland Ave., 
Needham Heights; May: Newton TV Foundation, 
1608 Beacon Street, Newton 

Contact: Susan Walsh (617) 965-8477 
Chicago: 

When: April 1 1, May 9, 7:30 pm 

Where: Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division 

Contact: Mark Hubert (312) 384-5533 
Dallas: 

Meetings not set at press time. 

Contact: Bart Weiss, (214) 948-7300 
Denver: 

Meetings not set at press time. 

Contact: Diane Markrow (303) 989-6466 
Los Angeles: 

When: April 5, May 3, 7 pm 

Where: Call to confirm location. 

Contact: Pat Branch, (310) 515-1175 
New York: 

When: April 18, May 16, 6-8 pm 

Where: Call to confirm location. 

Contact: Jennifer Lytton (212) 473-3400 
Washington, DC: 

Meetings not set at press time. 

Contact: Sowande Tichawonna (202) 232-0353 

MOVING FORWARD ... 

Members are organizing AIVF salons all over the 
country! For contact information, or to talk to us 
about starting something in your area, call Pan) 
Calvert (212) 473-3400. 

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS 

AIVF is governed by a board of directors elected from 
among the membership. The board sets policy, evalu- 
ates all the organization's activities, and ensures that 
we remain responsive to the needs and interests of 
the membership. Please consider nominating yourself 
or another AIVF member to stand for election this 
summer. Board members are elected to a 3-year term 
of office; the board gathers four times a year in NYC 
for weekend meetings (AIVF pays the travel costs if 
you live elsewhere). 

We have an active board; members must be pre- 
pared to set aside adequate time to fulfill board 
responsibilities, which include: 

• Attendance at all board meetings and participation 
in conference calls when necessary; 

• Preparation for meetings by reading advance mate- 
rials sent by staff; 

• Active participation in one or more committees as 
determined by the organization's needs and as 
requested by the board chair or executive director; 
fulfillment of commitments within agreed-upon 
guidelines; 

Continued on p. 59 



60 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 995 




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May 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 1 



Dear AIVF members and readers: 

We're proud to announce that the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film 
(FIVF), publisher of The Independent, has 
been awarded a National Endowment for the 
Arts (NEA) Challenge Grant for $100,000. 
The Challenge Grant is a prestigious award, 
but one with stringent matching require- 
ments: We must raise $300,000 in order to 
receive the NEA's share, and that will cer- 
tainly be a challenge! 

Ironically, this NEA support has come to 
FIVF at a moment when we have a number 
of grave concerns about the future health of 
our field. Congress' newest proposed cuts to 
the Endowment specifically target grants to 
individuals, which could mean a further 
assault on media artists, already hard hit by 
last November's cuts. We're also concerned 
about the future of the National Endowment 
for the Humanities and the Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting — especially, the Inde- 
pendent Television Service (ITVS) and the 
PBS Minority Consortia. 

As I was wandering through the halls of 
Congress on March 14 — Arts Advocacy 
Day — along with almost 2,000 other arts 
advocates from across the country on a mis- 
sion to keep the NEA, NEH, and CPB alive, 
we got the news that Congressional offices 
had received over 50,000 phone calls and 
60,000 telegrams that day. This high volume 
of citizen response in support of these agen- 
cies was heartening and served as an unqual- 
ified reminder that the work you are produc- 
ing is making a difference to people's lives in 
communities all across the country. And this 
means that AIVF and FIVF's efforts to rep- 
resent the field and provide the information 
resources you need to continue in your work 
are perhaps more necessary than ever. 

Our Challenge grant is for a new initiative 
called Information Services for the 2 1st 
Century, designed to revolutionize and diver- 
sify the ways we collect, organize, and dis- 
seminate information. In the future, we hope 
to be able to offer you timely, up-to-the- 
minute, individualized information in variety 
of formats—in person, via phone, fax and on- 
line, as well as in print. 

• Over the next three years, we be 
embarking on ambitious plans to expand our 
book publication program, as well as con- 
tinue to publish The Independent. We will be 
working harder to get these important publi- 
cations into more libraries, media organiza- 
tions, bookstores, and newsstands through- 

2 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 995 



out the country and will be asking for your 
help to identify outlets. 

• We'll be creating Information Toolkits 
on a variety of topics, and we'll be asking you 
to help us prioritize the areas of greatest con- 
cern. For example, a toolkit on fundraising 
might contain: an annotated contact list of 
key media hinders with grant deadlines, a 
bibliography, sample grant proposals, special- 
ly commissioned essays on what a panelist 
looks for or what a funder looks for in a grant 
proposal, tips from other independents who 
have had success getting grants, articles from 
back issues of The Independent, and so on. 
Our first toolkits will be out this fall, both 
focusing on finding money for projects. 

• We'll also be putting together a group of 
Information Specialists from across the 
country, individuals with expertise in areas 
such as distribution, legal matters and festi- 
val strategies, who will be able to provide you 
with individualized advice about your partic- 
ular project. 

• The Media Arts Database Project will 
enable us to create databases of essential 
information on production resources, per- 
sonnel, funding, distributors, services, etc. 
We'll also be putting together a members' 
skills bank, maintaining current listings of 
employment opportunities, and creating and 
promoting a database of your completed 
works and work-in-progress. 

We hope you're as excited about these 
ambitious plans as we are. They won't all 
happen this year or next, but the Challenge 
funds will make it possible to start the 
research and preparations (and the rest of 
the necessary fundraising) now. It's our goal 
to phase in these programs gradually over the 
next three years. Clearly, we're going to need 
a high level of involvement and guidance 
from our members, educators, the industry, 
and exhibitors and distributors to ensure that 
we're heading in the right direction. 

We have set ourselves a challenging work 
agenda. Producers live in a rapidly changing 
environment in which opportunities are fast 
disappearing as new ones are simultaneously 
being created. We firmly believe that if we 
are going to continue to be a valuable infor- 
mation provider, we'll need to dramatically 
re-envision and expand our services. We'll 
be turning to you for assistance and advice 
throughout this process, as we experiment to 
create the programs that best serve you. 

Thank you for your support, encourage- 
ment and involvement. 
Ruby Lemer, Executive Director &. Publisher 




MONT 
May 1995 
VOLUME 18, NUMBER 4 



Publisher: Ruby Lemer 

Editor in Chief: Patricia Thomson 

Managing Editor: Michele Shapiro 

Editorial Assistant: Mitch Albert 

Proofreader/factchecker: Cylena Simonds 

Interns: Angelo Fabara, Kristin Wilcha 

Contributing Editors: Kathryn Bowser, Luke Hones, 

Barbara Bliss Osborn, Catherine Saalfield, 

Robert L. Seigel 

Art Director: Daniel Christmas 

Advertising: Laura D. Davis (212) 473-3400 

National Distribution: Bernhard DeBoer (201) 667- 

9300; Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Sheridan Press 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731- 
5198) is published monthly except February and 
September by the Foundation for Independent Video and 
Film (FIVF), a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational founda- 
tion dedicated to the promotion of video and film. 
Subscription to the magazine ($45/yr individual; $25/yr 
student; $75/yr library; $100/yr nonprofit organization; 
$150/yr business/industry) is included in annual mem- 
bership dues paid to the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the national trade associ- 
ation of individuals involved in independent film and 
video, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012, (212) 
473-3400; fax: (212) 677-8732; aivf fivf@ aol.com. 
Second Class Postage Paid at New York, NY, and at addi- 
tional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address 
changes to The Independent Film & Video Monthly, 625 
Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012. 

Publication of The Independent is made possible in 
part with public funds from the New York State Council 
on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a 
federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement in The Independent 
does not constitute an endorsement. AIVF/FIVF are not 
responsible for any claims made in an ad. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require writ- 
ten permission and acknowledgement of the article's pre- 
vious appearance in The Independent. The Independent 
is indexed in the Alternative Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 1995 

AIVF/FIVF staff members: Ruby Lerner, executive direc- 
tor; Pamela Calvert, director of programs and services; 
Judah Friedlander, membership associate; Susan 
Kennedy, resource/development director; Jennifer Lytton, 
program associate; John McNair, information services 
associate; Leslie Singer, director of administration; 
Martha Wallner, advocacy coordinator; Arsenio Assin, 
receptionist; Alison Mark, intern. 

AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert I. Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Joe Berlinger, Melissa 
Burch, Loni Ding (co-vice president), Barbara Hammer, 
Ruby Lerner (ex officio), James Klein, Diane Markrow, 
Beni Matias (chair), Robb Moss (secretary), Robert 
Richter (treasurer), James Schamus*, Norman Wang*, 
Barton Weiss (co-vice president), Debra Zimmerman 
(president). * FIVF Board of Directors only 



Features 

31 "We Don't Fund Films, We Fund Projects in the Humanities": 
Independents and the NEH 

The National Endowment for the Humanities is the third largest funder of public broadcast pro- 
gramming, after CPB and PBS, and it far outranks its sister agency, the NEA, in direct support 
of media production. Yet among mediamakers, less is said and known about this federal agency. 
Barbara Abrash looks at the NEH in detail, talking to program staff and applicants 
about the agency's mission, its grueling application process, and what kind of media projects pass 
muster. 

28 No Guts, No Glory: The Production Assistant 





Contents 



In answer to the age-old question, "How do I break into the movie production business'" there's the age- 
old reply: "You pay your dues." This often translates as doing time as a PA. Good Machine staffers 

ANTHONY Bregman AND Mary Jane SKALSKI break down the different tasks of the PA, offer tips in landing and keeping 
the job, and demonstrate why this is a great place to learn the lay of the land, figure out your own job preferences, and begin to make 
a name for yourself. 



5 Media News 

Another Season, Another 
Reason for Making Money: 
Film/Video Arts 

By Lynne Palazzi 

Customized Business Reports 
for the Entrepeneurially 
Challenged 

By Christopher Borelli 

Blockbuster Offers Funds to 
Minneapolis Makers 

By Scott Briggs 

Canadian Distributor Opens 
US Office 

By Patrick Rengger 

In Brief 

12 Talking Heads 

Danny Schechter, director: 
Countdown to Freedom 

By Veronica Mixon 

Ellen Kuras, cinematographer 

By Cylena Simonds 

Michael O'Reilly, video artist 

By Jerry White 

Danny Lyon, filmmaker & 
photographer: Media Man 

By Paul Roth 

Niurka Perez, video director 

By Karen Shaw 




20 Field Reports 

Postcards to America: The 
Berlin International Film 

Festival By Michele Shapiro 

Going Dutch: The Rotterdam 



Cinemart by bette g 



ORDO N 




36 Funds & Finance 

Trash Those Grant 
Applications! A Dozen 
Creative Ways to Finance 
Your Next Project 

By Barbara Bliss Osborn 

39 The Business Pages 

Foreign Exchange: A 
Conversation with Tapestry 
International's Nancy Walzog 

By Susan Hornik 



COVER: Rather than 
rob from the rich, 
filmmaker Richard 
Gordon and partner 
Carma Hinton have 
turned to the NEH for 
funding, receiving four 
grants for three of 
their films on China, 
including their work- 
in-progress on the 
Chinese democracy 
movement. Gordon 
here takes near the 
temples of Wu Tai 
Shan, in the Shanxi 
province. Courtesy 
Richard Gordon 




42 In SO" 

5y Mitch Albert 

37 Festivals 

By Kathryn Bowser 

40 Classifieds 43 Notices 
43 AIVF Advocacy 

By Martha Wallner 

56 Memoranda 

By Pamela Calvt" 



May 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 3 




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EDITED BY MlCHELE SHAPIRO 



ANOTHER SEASON, ANOTHER REASON 
FOR MAKING MONEY 

Changes to Film/Video Arts' Education Program 
result in much-needed revenue 



You might say Film/Video Arts (FVA) is a bright 
spot in New York. Lining nearly every inch of the 
walls in its 12th and Broadway offices are flyers 
printed on astro-neon paper: "Spring Workshops" 
on electric blue; "Call For Applications" on traffic- 
cone orange; "Directing the Independent 
Documentary" on lime green; "Gay &. Lesbian 
Cinema" on shocking pink. 

It all starts to make sense once you meet 
Stephen Desmond, FVAs director of education 
and the man responsible for the aggressive color 
scheme. He is, to say the least, enthusiastic about 
FVAs course offerings and workshops, which he 
has spent the last year revamping, expanding, and 
promoting: "I want to make this the most success- 
ful, well-known program in New York City. 
Nothing less," he says. His efforts thus far have 
paid off in a big way: current enrollment — 
1,500 — is nearly double that of 1994's, and 
income from courses has risen from $135,000 last 
year to well over $250,000 this year. 

The upswing could have to do with indepen- 
dent film's near-overexposure in the mainstream 
media during the past year; it seems everyone and 
his dog has taken up a camera in the name of 
Tarantino and Linklater. But FVAs success is also 
fueled by its bargain prices, especially for people 
who can't afford even one three-credit undergrad- 
uate class ($1,677) at New York University Film 
School — eight blocks and hundreds of dollars 
away from FVA. A six-session course in produc- 
tion management at FVA costs a member $225 
and a nonmember $250. A 10-session Beginning 
16mm class runs members $525 and nonmembers 
$550. Even the membership dues are reasonable: 
$40 a year. 

Jennifer Fox, an award-winning documentary 
filmmaker and an FVA teacher for five years, says 
it doesn't take a degree program to learn how to 
use a camera and sound equipment. She should 
know — she left film school after a year. "After you 
learn the basics, you can cut and paste your own 
curriculum to strengthen your weaknesses," she 
says. "The courses at FVA are tailored to the real 
needs of filmmakers." 

FVAs classes also provide an option for people 
like Salime Okuyan, an installation artist who 




enrolled in two FVA workshops to fashion a doc- 
umentary-type film from eight hours of Hi8 
footage she shot during a five-month trip to 
Central Asia. With camera rental, editing time, 
and access to lights included in fees for many of 
the production classes, FVA is a good place for the 
curious-but-not-committed to make low-cost mis- 
takes. 

And for those who can't remember the last 
time they saw the inside of a classroom, there's 
another advantage: the classes take place in a 
decidedly non-academic environment. On any 
given day, a professional editor could be working 
in a roughcut room two doors away from a 
Beginning 16mm class. "Students here don't leave 
a rarefied academic setting and then have to go 
out and find a community," Desmond says. "We're 
creating a community, not just servicing one." 

Desmond has big plans for FVAs future: he's 
working on instituting a certificate program, offer- 
ing courses in digital sound, and gaining college 
accreditation for FVA courses. These days, 
though, his mantra is "AVID." "AVID does for 
flatbeds, roughcut, and offline facilities what the 
PC did for the typewriter," he says. Last 
November, when FVA invested $100,000 in 
AVID equipment, Desmond anticipated offering 
three sessions of AVID workshops in 1995. He has 
already had to double that number. 



o t h 
Fox 
and fel- 
low in- 
structor Roddy Bogawa enjoy the student popula- 
tion at FVA. "It's so mixed," says Bogawa, who 
teaches Beginning 16mm Film Production. Fox 
has taught at both NYU and the School of Visual 
Arts. "There's a very different energy at FVA," she 
says. "The students can range in age from 20 to 
70. They've spent their hard-earned money to 
take the class. They're more involved and dedi- 
cated." Fox also likes FVAs informal, no-grades 
approach to education. She says it parallels the 
independence and self-motivation that it takes to 
be a successful filmmaker. 

For Gilly Hutchinson-Houa — a freelance assis- 
tant director in the Chinese film industry who is 
trying to cram as much -film education as possible 
into her eight months in New York — FVAs week- 
end workshops mean two more days of learning. 
Both she and classmate Valerie Edwards, a pro- 
ducer at an ad agency, have taken courses at other 
New York schools and say they appreciate FVAs 
"down-to-earth" approach. "It feels like the inde- 
pendents are here," says Edwards. "It's more reali- 
ty-based." 

At times, maybe a little too reality-based. As a 
tardy student maneuvers a folding chair into an 



May 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 5 



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price of a used lens. The Krasnogorsk-3 or "K-3" is perfect for that pick up shot 
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=< 



already-cramped, hot conference room where Jim 
Hubbard teaches his Production Management 
class, Hubbard says, "I enjoy teaching in this room 
because it feels like a production meeting on a 
low-budget film." 

To register for courses, call (212) 673-9361. 

Lynne Palazzi 

Lyrme Palazzi « a freelance writer based m New York. 



Customized Business Reports 

for the Entrepeneurially 

Challenged 

In 1992, Jeffrey Hardy bought a small two-family 
home surrounded by the media barons of San 
Francisco's Potrero Hill. Aside from being prime 
real estate in the Bay Area, the house is adjacent 
to one of the best video stores in the Bay 
Area, Dr. Video. Movie fans 
interested in indepen- 
dent and for- 
eign 




^ 
^ 
^ 
^ 



m e n - 
t a r i e s 
converge 
there. Since 
his move, 
Hardy has 
become vener- 
ated among a 
small band of 
independent film- 
makers from across 
the country, many of 
whom he has never 
met. "Jeff is great"-this, 
"Jeff is great"-that, 
don't know how we could have 
done it without Jeff," they gush. 
The makers love him, and he 
loves helping them. 

Hardy is to filmmakers what 
those ads in the back of Rolling 
Stone declaring relief from the 
"Term Paper Blues" are to college 
juniors — a short cut. He sells 
cheat sheets or time savers, 
depending on how you look at it. 
Through Big Horse, Inc., the film 
consulting/production company 
he started in 1987 following a 



'1 



LA. -based Big 

Horse, Inc. 
provides inde- 
pendents with 
customized 
business 
reports they 
can use to 
lure potential 
investors to 
their projects. 

Courtesy Big 
Horse, Inc. 



■*" 



Domestic Box Offlca Gross ■ 
Exhibitor Shore of Domestic Box Office Gross 
Projected Video Soles i n T housorxB of Units 
Retail Price per Unit 
Wholesole Porc«nt»o« 
Video Royalty (Percentage) 

(Dollars) 

Theatrical 
Video 
Pag TV 
Public TV 
Network TV 
All Other 



Pradicar'a Gra« Profit »»> 



ism 

1_5 

75 

62* 
20% 
139 



1800 60* 
697 23* 



450 





60 



15* 
0* 



two-year stint as the president of the Independent 
Feature Project in Northern California, Hardy 
offers filmmakers advice, but he se!/s info-laden 
FilmProfit Reports with titles like "Marketing 
Position and Audience Demographics," tailored to 
the filmmaker's project. 

It's general knowledge that finding numbers 
pertaining to films — budgets, grosses, etc. — is a 
laborious task often left to interns and only if they 
are capable of playing mind games with major stu- 
dios and are willing to pore through trade papers 
that contain few numbers people can agree on. 

So in late 1994, Hardy had an idea for the cre- 
ativity-driven filmmaker, the kind who just "wants 
to go the beach and start shooting," as he puts it: 
He opted to provide simple information for the 
maker to present to prospective investors, includ- 
ing advice on a particular film's target audience 
and a comparison of how similar films have 
fared. He has compiled the information in cus- 
tomized reports; the more information that's 
included, the higher the pricetag. Choices 
include the Comparable Pictures Report, 
which compares the maker's films with 
one other for $75, three others for $175, 
and five for $250. There's also a com- 
plete Profile Package, comprising stats 
and charts on revenues for theatri- 
cal, home video, cable TV, and for- 
eign markets at $300 ($250 for those 
who purchase a second report). A third 
report, The Making of a Modern Film, for 
investors new to the industry, can be had for 
just $100. 

Hardy sees the whole thing as an educational 
tool. "Not having access to numbers is a stumbling 
block for filmmakers who have long studied how 
they want a shot to look and how the technical 
aspects of film will work," he says. "All of a sudden 
they need another degree. Only people who have 
business direction can find a way around it. Now 
these folks don't need to go and learn a whole new 
curriculum." 

So far his reports have been used by dozens of 
non-MBAs, including Scott McGehee and David 
Siegel, makers of the feature Suture. First-time 
filmmaker Derrick L. Carr laughs as he explains 
his reason for ordering one of Hardy's comparative 



A screen from 
FilmProfit, Big 
Horse, Inc.'s bud- 
get planning soft- 
ware. 

Courtesy Big 
Horse, Inc. 



film reports: "I had people tell 
me if I did everything, then 
the film will be dedicated to 
me... because I'd be dead." 
Carr is a former member of 
the New Orleans Saints and 
the Los Angeles Rams. He 
went into football right after graduating 
from Bowling Green University, where his 
major was film. "When I came to town after 
leaving the NFL, my dream was to put 
together a crew and a few hundred grand 
and basically start filming," he says. "The 
idea was if you're gonna do it, do it right. 
Everybody wants to just get out there. What I did- 
n't realize was all the red tape, man." 

For more information on Big Horse's FilmProfit 
Reports, or other advice, including budget and 
organizational consultations, call (800) 474-3060 
or (415) 431-5149; 536 Eighteenth Street, San 
Francisco, CA 94107-2804. 

Christopher Borelli 

Christopher Borelli, a freelance journalist, has con- 
tributed to Wired and Premiere. 



Blockbuster Offers Funds to 
Minnesota Makers 

Minnesota media artists soon may get more than 
inspiration from their local video rental outlets. 
Blockbuster Video of Minnesota, the state's 
Blockbuster Video franchisee, has initiated a new 
program committing $225,000 to the production 
of work by Minnesota filmmakers. 

The Minnesota Blockbuster Film Fund will pro- 
vide three $25,000 awards per year for the next 
three years to writers, directors, and producers 
with specific feature film proposals. Applicants 
must be current Minnesota residents who have 
lived in the state for at least one year, or former 
residents who resided there for at least seven con- 
secutive years. Applications require a project 
description, a script or treatment, development 
plans including budget, schedule, and marketing 
information, and examples of previous work. 
Projects will be judged equally on artistic merit 
and the percieved ability to complete production. 

The program is designed to provide seed money 
to beginning and mid-career filmmakers who 
demonstrate potential for acquiring additional 
financial support. Organizers do not expect to see 
all funded projects reach the big screen, but hope 
a high percentage can enter production. Award- 
winners who secure full financing or distribution 
must eventually repay the Blockbuster grant 
money. Recipients, however, will not be penalized 
for failure to complete a film. 

The Minnesota Blockbuster Film Fund is guid- 
ed by a steering committee of figures from the 




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Christine Vachon, produc- 
er of Steve McLean's 
Postcards From America. 
is serving on the steering 
committee for 
Blockbuster of 
Minneapolis, which will 
dispense more than 
$200,000 in grants to 
emerging filmmakers over 
the next three years. 
Photo: Joyce George, 
Courtesy filmmaker 



Hollywood film industry 
and the national inde- 
pendent film communi- 
ty. Chaired by Jordan 
Kerner, producer of 
Fried Green Tomatoes 
and the Minnesota- 
filmed Mighty Ducks 
series, the. committee 
also includes independent producers such as 
Christine Vachon (Safe, Postcards from America) 
and Islet Films' John Pierson {Go Fish, Clerks), as 
well as writers, directors, distributors, and repre- 
sentatives from related fields. 

In addtion to the cash awards, winners will 
receive 10,000 feet of 16mm or 35mm film from 
Eastman Kodak, free postproduction services, and 
personal mentoring from steering committee 
members on subjects such as script development 
and distribution in foreign markets. "What we're 
really delivering here is a relatively small amount 
of money and great contacts into both the inde- 
pendent world and the studio world," says 
Blockbuster Video of Minnesota president Mike 
Sweeney. "That's every bit as valuable as the 
money we're coming up with. The goal here is to 
get films made. That takes some money and a lot 
of contacts." 

The new fund was prompted, in part, by the 
recent wave of feature film production activity in 
Minnesota. Attracted by the state's strong pool of 
acting and technical talent, more than 30 studio 
and independent projects have used Minnesota as 
a shooting location during the past five years. 
Most of those films originally were developed out- 
side of the state, however, says Sweeney. The 
Minnesota Blockbuster Film Fund is designed to 
nurture creative work close to home. 

Based on successful grant programs in other 
countries, the Minnesota Blockbuster Film Fund is 
the first feature film development of its kind in the 
United States. The program was created by the 
Minnesota Film Board, a nonprofit organization 
dedicated to boosting the state's film industry. 



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The deadline to apply for this year's Minnesota 
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Canadian Distributor 
Opens US Office 

For 30 years Cinepix Film Properties, Inc., a lead- 
ing Canadian independent film distribution and 
production company, has brought Canadian audi- 
ences films such as The Piano, The Crow, The 
Crying Game, and La Reine Margot. In 1995, it 
opened a New York office to house its US distrib- 
ution and production operations. 

The team in New York is headed by Michael 
Paseornek and includes Adam Rogers, previously 
with Miramax, as vice president of US distribu- 
tion. With the emergence of companies such as 
Miramax and Fine Line as mini-majors looking to 
acquire films that potentially will gross at least $5 
million, Rogers feels there is a niche in the market 
for other smaller distributors. "It gives us the 
opportunity to acquire the festival films, English- 
language independents, and a smattering of for- 
eign films." Rogers adds that the budget of the film 
is immaterial. "What we are looking for is quality 
features and documentaries." 

CFP is looking mainly to major festivals such as 
Cannes, Toronto, Montreal, and Sundance for 
product, but they also pay close attention to mid- 
sized fests in 
Seattle, 
Boston, and 
Houston. 
Because it 
has been 
around for 
30 years, the 
company 
also has es- 
t abl is he d 
relationships 
with produc- 
ers and sales 
agents who 
are, as Roger 
puts it, 

"thrilled that 
CFP is mov- 



ing into the marketplace. A lot of films are being 
shown to us before anyone eke can look at them." 
Paseornek agrees that the history and track record 
of the company work to its advantage. "We 
already have a reputation tor distributing this kind 
of film in Canada," he says, "and are very well 
positioned as a company to distribute festival 
films. There are a lot ot films out there that are not 
receiving the proper distribution. If, for example, a 
film doesn't create much heat initially, a larger 
company, with a glut ot product, just moves on, 
while a smaller company may run out of money for 
marketing." Paseornek says CFP believes in giving 
films a chance; if the market is soft initially, they 
will give it a second or third push. He adds that 
Cinepix offers producers and sales agents expertise 
in the marketplace, honest accounting, and a 
complete North American release. 

Rogers says CFP also has a kit to offer produc- 
tion companies in terms of setting up distribution 
or getting broader distribution than they otherwise 
would. "We can organize the video and cable as 
well as theatrical distribution." In addition, 
Cinepix can help build the ancillary value of a 
lower-budget film by arranging theatrical distribu- 
tion in 10 or 20 markets and then making a video 
or cable deal. 

CFP also intends both to produce and copro- 
duce a number of films in the future. Seven movies 
are slated for the coming year, including one, 
Goalie, in coproduction with Barwood, Barbra 
Streisand's production company, which is about 
the first women in the NHL. Some of the produc- 
tions, such as Goalie, are slated for theatrical 
release, while others are designed and destined for 
cable or home video. In addition, CFP has com- 
pleted two coproductions starring Michael Caine 
with Showtime and a British production company. 
CFP is projecting the release of six to eight copro- 




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ductions in 1995. Since the company also plans to 
distribute an additional seven projects, the U.S.- 
based staff is, as Rogers puts it, "continuously 
looking to acquire from wherever it can." 

Contact: Cinepix Film Properties, 900 Broadway, 
ste. 800, New York, NY 10003; (212) 995-9662. 
Patrick Rengger 

Patrick Rengger is a Calgary-based freelance writer who 

writes for the Globe and Mail and other newspapers 

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segment of a bi-weekly series on CBC Radio. 



IN BRIEF 

NYSCA's $2-7 Million Budget 
Cut Looms Ahead 

New York state Governor George Pataki has pro- 
posed a substantial budget cut to the New York 
State Council for the Arts (NYSCA) for FY 1996, 
which begins April 1. If approved, the $37-plus 
million FY95 budget will be slashed by more than 
$6 million to $29 million. That figure, which fac- 
tors in funds received from the National 
Endowment for the Arts, includes $5 million 
already earmarked for matching programs. The 
new budget represents a 50-percent reduction in 
total funding from a high of nearly $60 million in 
1989-90. Moreover, the council has been ordered 
to cut its staff to 38 from 45, and 16 other posi- 
tions, underwritten by the NEA, are vulnerable to 
future Federal cuts. 

"If the governor's budget goes through," says 
Debra Silverfine, media program officer at 
NYSCA, "we will have staff cuts, and the dollars 
available for ongoing established grants funding 
will be cut by 30 to 40 percent." She adds that, in 
most program areas, NYSCA is keeping commit- 
ments to people who already received grants 
through "Challenge NYC." 

A spokesman for the governor has defended 
the cuts as a "serious commitment" to the arts in 
light of an overall state budget gap estimated at $5 
billion. But Senator Roy Goodman, Republican 
chair of the Senate committee on the arts, has said 
he does not expect the proposed cuts to stand in 
the face of strong sentiment in the Legislature to 
restore the arts budget. Goodman is seeking to 
restore $5 million of the proposed $7 million cuts. 

Shortly after the proposed budget was 
announced, Mary Hayes, NYSCA's executive 
director, resigned, and deputy director Barbara 
Haspiel took an early retirement package. Hayes 
had served as director since 1980, while Haspiel 
joined the council in 1965. Although a NYSCA 
spokesperson says both women had voiced dismay 
over the proposed cuts, the reasons for their 



departures were largely personal. 

In a related matter, Bruce Feinberg, the deputy 
commissioner of New York state's film and televi- 
sion development who had been with the office 
since 1986, was let go in February. Patti Swinney 
Kaufman, former director of the state's Division 
for Women, will take over. She is the wife of Lloyd 
Kaufman, president of Troma Films, a NY-based 
company specializing in low-budget exploitation 
films such as Nuke 'Em High and The Toxic 
Avenger. According to the Hollywood Reporter, 
Patti Kaufman and Governor Pataki's wife are 
good friends. 



NEA Update 



In February, the Clinton administration showed 
support for the arts by submitting a budget request 
for FY96 that includes a slight increase in the 
National Endowment for the Art's current $172.4 
million budget. Yet Congressional leaders quickly 
denounced the budget plan as unrealistic. 

Shortly after the FY96 budget presentation, 
House Republicans began meeting for rescission 
hearings, to discuss possible cuts to the NEA's 
existing FY95 budget. The House Appropriations 
Committee, chaired by representative Robert 
Livingston (R-LA), agreed in March to a $17 bil- 
lion package that includes a $5 million reduction 
for both the NEA and the National Endowment 
for the Humanities (NEH). If approved, the NEA 
will lose $1 million from its administration budget 
and $4 million from unobligated program funds. 
The agency would be directed to eliminate fund- 
ing, to the maximum extent possible, for individ- 
ual fellowships, with the exception of Heritage 
Award fellowships to folk artists. At press time, 
the House was expected to debate the proposed 
cuts in late March. 



On the Record 

"Independents must realize that some of their 
productions appeal to only a very small audi- 
ence. Even when I broadcast them, I can't 
force viewers to watch them. If I did this too 
much, I might not have any audience at all." 

— Nancy Hoene, programmer, WDSE-TV, 
Minnesota. From on-line discussion about public 
TV and public access, America Online, February 
1995 



* The lndepet\dent is soliciting quotes by and about the 
media arts for "On the Record". If you come across a 
brilliant, funny, stupid, or enlightening quotes, send it to 
Michele Shapiro (see masthead for mail/fax info; no 
calls, please). Include name & date of publication in 
which quote first appeared. If your quote is used, you'll 
receive a free one-year individual membership to AIVF. 



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May 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 11 





DANNY SCHECHTER 

COUNTDOWN TO 
FREEDOM 

By Veronica 

Mixon 

When Danny Schechter 
recalls the telephone call 
from the African National 
Congress (ANC) inviting 
him to document the his- 
toric 1994 election in 
South Africa, a feeling of awe pervades his voice. 
"It was an honor to have a South African helieve 
in my work, to let me film," says the network jour- 
nalist-turned-filmmaker of his chronicle of the 
election that led to Nelson Mandela's presidency 
one year ago. This extraordinary feature-length 
documentary, Countdown to Freedom: Ten Days 
that Changed South Africa, is a powerful, exuberant 
statement about the tenacious drive for freedom 
by disenfranchised South Africans. 

With one camera and an initial budget of 
$20,000, Schechter and his crew traveled with 
Mandela and various ANC officials, conducting 
interviews and observing behind-the-scenes 
preparation at polling stations and strategy meet- 
ings. "It is very rare for a filmmaker to see a story 
he's been fighting to cover.. .come to a victory," 
says Schechter. "We had been there when no one 
was there. It's kind of rare for a white boy from the 
Bronx to enjoy this kind of access." 

Schechter had been following the political 
upheavals in South Africa for three years, as exec- 
utive producer of the series South Africa Now. 
Schechter first attracted the ANC's attention 
with this weekly series, which aired in Zambia, 
Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Angola, as well as 



on public television stations in the United States 
from 1989 to 1991. 

South Africa blow grew out of Schechter 's frus- 
trations working inside network news — both with 
the media restrictions set by the South African 
government and with the nature of U.S. news cov- 
erage. "The story wasn't getting out in America," 
Schechter recalls, "partly because the networks 
went along with the censorship. They could have 
covered it, but they didn't. As the human rights 
violations increased, the coverage decreased." 

Schechter left ABC in 1988 and cofounded his 
own production company with Rory O'Connor, 




Globalvision, which created South Africa Now on 
a budget of $200 a week. "We became network 
refugees in search of more editorial freedom and a 
chance to tackle issues that we considered to be 
trivialized, ignored, or suppressed by network news 
operations." 

The program ran for 156 weeks over the next 
three years. "We covered the South African per- 
spective from the inside out, working with other 
South Africans," says Schechter. "I think it was 
that work that impressed the ANC, because we 
were the ones letting various people speak in their 
own voices. That was our idea, and that was dif- 
ferent from the way the networks covered it." 



But in recent years, says Schechter, "The mar- 
ketplace for our work, rather than expanding, 
seems to be constricting." Globalvision's latest 
series, Right and Wrongs, which looks at human 
rights issues around the world, has had a tougher 
time getting broadcast slots. Schechter and on-air 
host Charlayne Hunter-Gault have clashed open- 
ly with PBS about its resistance at a national level 
to independently produced documentary series, 
forcing producers to sell their work station by sta- 
tion. "The financial basis is not there to make it 
economically viable to produce for public televi- 
sion," Schechter states. Nonetheless, Globalvision 
(with support from 
ITVS) has managed to 
put together a third 
26-week season, 

which began in April 
and cleared 25 of the 
top 35 public televi- 
sion markets. This 
year the series is mov- 
ing away from its news 
magazine format and 
towards thematic pro- 
grams (e.g., women's 
rights, children's 

rights, tolerance). 
Globalvision is now 
actively soliciting 

human-rights related 
work by independent 
producers for the 
revamped series. 

It's no easier pitch- 
ing a political feature- 
length documentary 
than a weekly series, 
however. The film- 
maker easily con- 
vinced James Earl 
Jones and Alfre Wood- 
ard to do Countdown 
to Freedom's narration 
for free, and Peter 
Gabriel contributed 
the music. But despite 
the enthusiastic support of many people, financing 
the film was difficult. It sold to M-Net, South 
African public television, and Cinemax/HBO, 
which has a 12-month contract for domestic TV 
rights, so they will be cablecasting the film 
throughout 1995. Despite these sales, however, 
Schechter and Anant Singh, the top black pro- 
ducer in South Africa, still haven't recouped their 
$100,000 production costs. 

Shot on video and bumped up to 16mm, 
Schechter is still hoping for theatrical distribution. 
But it has proven a tough sell. "We found that 
even among the independent distributors, there is 
an apolitical culture where ideas tend to get 



12 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 995 



excluded. There are very few screens...," he says 
sadly, on this cold, brisk February afternoon, while 
flipping through Variety in his midtown office. 
"What is it about a culture that values O.J. and 
doesn't value Nelson Mandela. 7 Or value him 
enough?" Then he immediately launches into a 
passionate tirade. "Here's Nelson Mandela, a man 
who is one of the great heroes of the world. He 
filled Yankee Stadium; he filled the Detroit 
Stadium and the Los Angeles Coliseum with mil- 
lions of people," he continues. "The New York 
Times put him on page one; all the networks 
scramble over themselves to document and cover 
[the election]. On CD-ROMs and encyclopedias 
in computers, the first thing they show is a picture 
of Nelson Mandela. And yet, [in the film world] 
we find a kind ot ho-hum attitude." 

In a few hours, Schechter will be boarding a 
plane to Cape Town. He plans to accompany 
Mandela on his visit to Robin Island, where the 
political leader was imprisoned for over two 
decades. Though a long way from home, 
Schechter remains close to the concerns with 
which he was raised. 

"I come from a working class family," says this 
52-year-old native New Yorker, who attended pub- 
lic school and Cornell University. "My grandfather 
was a garment worker, and his values came out of 
the Labor Movement. My father was in the sit-in 
movement [and] worked in Mississippi." 
Schechter grew up politically during the Civil 
Rights Movement. When he went to the London 
School of Economics, he met South Africans for 
the first time. During a visit to that country in 
1967, he happened to attend the funeral of Chief 
La Toulle, a former leader of the ANC and Nobel 
Peace Prize winner. Upon his return to the U.S., he 
began to cover the news coverage of South Africa 
for WCBN commercial radio, where he was 
known as Danny Schechter the News Dissector. 
"For example, during the sixties, the New York 
Times referred to Soweto as a 'suburb of 
Johannesburg,'" he dryly notes. In 1968, he made 
his first film, Student Power, about the student 
protests at the London School of Economics. 
However, the realities of independent filmmaking 
proved very difficult for the young Schechter, who 
became a journalist in print, radio, and television 
before returning to film about 10 years ago. 

In Countdown to Freedom, Schechter confides, 
"We did a kind of no-no for documentary film- 
makers. We used narration. But it was clear to me 
that the people who thought they knew a lot 
about South Africa didn't know anything. We had 
to explain and set up, contextualize, and offer 
information, [and give] the whole emotion of nar- 
rative storytelling, which is all the rage." For 
Schechter, the pay-off is worth it. "We in America 
can't afford not to look at [South Africa], as every- 
thing here is going backwards," he says. "We have 
more to learn from South Africa than they have to 



learn from us — about race relations, political 
struggle, and change. That's really the hope I have 
in making this film — that people will take some 
lessons and learn from it." 

CotmtdouTt to Freedom: Globalvision, 1600 
Broadway Ste. 700, New York, NY 10019; (212) 
246-0202; fax: 2677. 

Veronica Mucon is a film critic for Carib News based in 

New York City 



ELLEN KURAS 

By Cylena 

S IMON DS 




WOMEN ARE BECOMING 
increasingly visible in key 
below-the-line positions 
in independent film. 
Cinematography, once a 
strictly male club, now has a female member who 
is gaining a remarkably high profile. Ellen Kuras 
took the prize for cinematography on Rebecca 
Miller's dramatic feature, Angela, at this year's 
Sundance Film Festival. This was Kuras' second 
time in the winners' circle; in 1992, she won the 
same award for her work as director of photogra- 
phy on Tom Kalin's Swoon. These official prizes 
merely reflect the respect and acknowledgment 
she has received among independent feature and 
documentary makers for her unique vision and 
technical skills, honed over 14 years. 

Chance plays a large role in independent film, 
and Kuras' development as a DP is no exception. 
Disenchanted with her studies in Egyptology at 



Brown University, she enrolled in a photography 
course at the Rhode Island School of Design. 
Photography, she found, opened "a new way of 
exploring different kinds of emotions, different 
kinds of sensibilities, and the interplay of light." 

Her introduction to film came after she fin- 
ished college in 1981, but it wasn't initially on 
camera. She first helped a friend who needed a 
sound editor, then a woman who needed an assis- 
tant producer for a documentary about Cuban 
refugees. "I really wanted to work on camera, but 
I didn't know how to get there, because at that 
point there weren't that many women working in 
the field. Very very few," she recalls. 

Kuras then applied for jobs as assistant camer- 
aperson or gaffer on dramatic features. 
Meanwhile, in order to get her hands on a camera, 
she began shooting industrials on video and short 
films for new directors. Her first job as DP was on 

the documen- 
tary Samsara 
(1990), Ellen 
Bruno's film 
about the 
Khmer Rouge 
in Cambodia 
after the Pol 
Pot regime. 
Her most 
recent docu- 
mentary work 
is Unzipped, 
Douglas 
Keeve's film 
on fashion 
designer Isaac 
Mizrahi, and 
Jill Godmil- 
ow's Roy 

Cohnl) ack 
Smith, a documentation of Ron Vawter's one-man 
show at the Kitchen. Kuras' other documentary 
credits include Romance de Valencia/Only the 
Brave, about a young Spanish bullfighter; Family of 
Women, on the history of women in the 20th cen- 
tury; Mutual Aid, a documentary on madness in a 
Belgian village; and Final Betrayal, a look at 
Vietnam refugees in Hong Kong detention cen- 
ters. 

Documentary work was more in line with her 
early interest in ethnographic studies, so the tran- 
sition to dramatic production was challenging. 
After shooting Coffee and Cigarettes, a short 
directed by Jim Jarmusch, her first feature oppor- 
tunity was Swoon. She then moved on to Postcards 
from America, a fictional narrative based on the 
life of artist David Wojnarowit:, directed by Steve 
McLean. 

Kuras continues to strike a balance between 
shooting fiction and nonfiction and finds that her 
experience with documentaries has led to more 



May 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 13 



creative ways of approaching dramatic work. "In 
documentaries, you really have to work fast to 
react to situations on the spot. Nobody is going to 
wait for you; you just have to go and get it," she 
says. "So working on dramatic films, I'm much 
more aware of what's happening around me and 
am ready to jump on something. Which is why, 
when I'm shooting dramatic stuff, even now, I steal 
a lot of shots." 

Kuras' most recent project, Angela, intrigued 
her because of the visual possibilities presented hy 
its examination of an imaginative child's mind. Set 
in an economically depressed town in upstate New 
York, the film tells the story of two sisters who 
attempt to cure their mother's manic depression 
through bizarre, sometimes religiously inspired rit- 
uals. "[Director] Rebecca Miller and I talked for a 
long time about what she wanted. We looked at a 
lot of photographs. We looked at different films. 
We talked about the point of view of the kids and 
how to impart that child's sensibility without 
doing all the camera angles from two feet above 
the ground," Kuras says. 

Kuras' next project is something completely dif- 
ferent: a documentary she will direct as well as 
shoot. Called Distinct Ground, it chronicles the 
effect of the Vietnam war on a Laotian family, and 
is something she's had in the works for years, net- 
ting a grant from the National Endowment for the 
Humanities back in 1984. Thanks to a recent 
grant from the National Asian American 
Telecommunications Association, Kuras can final- 
ly focus her attention on its completion. 

Kuras is very dedicated to the projects she 
works on — and very protective of the crews. She 
strongly objects to their mistreatment and under- 
compensation in relation to their work on a film. 
Kuras speaks from experience. Early on, when 
working on the Cuban refugee documentary, "I 
worked my butt off for this woman, and she never 
paid me. It wasn't even that much money; it was 
$700," she says. "But it made an indelible print on 
my mind about how people who are doing docu- 
mentaries — and not just documentaries — can say 
they're doing it for the good of these people and to 
get the word out and talk about social change, 
then they screw the people who are working for 
them. It doesn't happen all the time. But it's a 
thing that I come across again and again." She is 
now very selective, working only with directors 
and producers whose priorities include the welfare 
of the crew. 

Kuras is also sensitive to role of women on set. 
"Whenever I come across new crews — like when I 
was in France or working with new crews in differ- 
ent parts of the country — there's always this sort 
of unspoken understanding that I have to prove 
myself because I'm a woman, which really irritates 
me." But she doesn't let this intimidate her, and 
advises young women starting out in the field to 
trust themselves. "Don't be afraid to ask questions 



and make mistakes," she says. 

Things are slowly changing. On Angela, the 
camera crew was all female, as was the production 
staff. "The second electric was a woman, my third 
electric was a woman, my third grip was a 
woman. ..but that's also because I make it a real 
point to provide opportunities for women to learn 
and to get their hands on equipment and to pro- 
vide whatever bit of training I can." Those oppor- 
tunities are likely to grow as Ellen Kuras becomes 
one of the most sought-after DPs in independent 
film. 

Cylena Simonds is a writer and Curatorial Fellow in the 
Whitney Museums Independent Study Program. 

This article was published with support from the 
St. Paul, MN-based Center for Arts Criticism, with a 
grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 



MICHAEL O'REILLY 

<\sid&o enrtist 

By Jerry White 




HAS THE MONEY CORRUPTED 
you.'," Michael O'Reilly was 
asked. That's not a common 
question for experimental 
videomakers, but it was all but 
inevitable with O'Reilly, a 
recent recipient of a prestigious 
Pew Fellowship. The $50,000 award is designed to 
give artists enough money to "be artists" for a year 
or two. "Well, no," he replied. "I haven't gotten 
any yet." 

Nonetheless, O'Reilly, 31, has big plans. An 
artist of great versatility, he's making the switch 
from video art to feature filmmaking, and he also 
wants to work on a novel and musical projects. His 
feature film is his priority though, and this marks a 
significant change from what he's been doing up 



to now. 

O'Reilly made a name for himself with his 
experimental videos Glass Jaw and Orion Climbs, 
both of which made extensive use of Fisher Price's 
Pixelvision camera. Now discontinued, the cam- 
era was designed as a children's toy. It records on 
both sides of a standard audiotape and makes 
blocky, low resolution, black and white images 
that play at only 15 frames per second. 

While Glass Jaw (1992) and Orion Climbs 
(1994) are a far cry from the narrative feature he's 
currently planning in terms of length, style, and 
format, there are common threads. His style has 
always combined the imagination of a poet with 
the clear-headedness of an essayist, and he plans 
to adopt a similar "whatever works" practicality in 
his choice of styles for his feature. Similarly, the 
longer piece will integrate documentary-style 
footage into its narrative form, hopefully creating 
another work of dream-like remembrance. 

O'Reilly's first major video, the 17-minute 
Glass Jaw, was made after he was assaulted on a 
Philadelphia street and left with massive head 
injuries, which required his jaw to be wired shut 
for an extended period. The video shows his expe- 
riences in dark, grainy Pixelvision — everything 

from mealtime 
with a straw, to 
the forms he 
needed to fill 
out to get his 
hospital bills 
paid. The 

images effec- 
tively convey 
his claustropho- 
bia and isolation 
and nicely com- 
plement his 
musings on the 
nature of health 
care. 
O'Reilly's next 
major piece was the 30-minute Orion Climbs, 
which also has a rather melancholy subject: the 
death of his grandfather. O'Reilly combines per- 
sonal reflections with NASA footage, Pixelvision 
interviews, and foreign language instructional 
records to create a lovely, enigmatic meditation on 
remembrance. 

While O'Reilly's work is extremely visual, the 
videomaker pays considerable attention to the 
soundtrack. Too often in film and video, he 
believes, sound finds itself "traveling second class 
to light's first class." He adds, "I feel bad about 
that." Glass Jaw and Orion Climbs have extremely 
layered soundtracks, constructed with great atten- 
tion to detail. Even so, O'Reilly composes all his 
soundtrack music using modest consumer-grade 
technology. "I got the Casio sampling keyboard for 
50 bucks," he says. "You can get an amazing sound 



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out of that." He makes music out of "basically any- 
thing I can get my hands on." Whether or not he 
knows how to use the equipment "correctly" is 
secondary. "My mom got me a Russian-made 
zither for Christmas," he says. "I don't know how 
to play it, but it sounds great!" 

O'Reilly's feature film is far more ambitious in 
scope than his other work to date. Tentatively 
titled either Dad's Going xo fail or A Year and a 
Day, it is about his recently deceased father's stint 
in prison for fraud. "My dad was incarcerated in 
Allanwood federal prison camp," the director 
explains, "the same place where G. Gordon Liddy 
was, and some of the Watergate people." Before 
being incarcerated, his father wore a wire for three 
months for the FBI, and O'Reilly has access to the 
transcripts. He also has tape recordings of his 
father's phone calls from prison. He plans to shoot 
in the now vacant Eastern State Penitentiary 
(where Terry Gilliam just finished shooting his 
upcoming feature, 12 Monkeys). "The decay is so 
amazing," he says animatedly of the long aban- 
doned prison. "You could never fabricate it. It 
would take a hundred years." 

O'Reilly first made use of the low-cost 
Pixelvision camera for economic reasons. "I didn't 
have any money, I only had this camera, and it did 
some amazing stuff," he recalls. But his commit- 
ment to Pixelvision is pragmatic and subject to 
change when the content demands it. "The 
strengths of Pixelvision served Glass ]aw well," he 
notes. "They didn't necessarily serve Orion 
Climbs," so O'Reilly combined Pixelvision with a 
variety of other camera formats. He ran up against 
the limitations of the Fisher Price camera when 
shooting videos for local rock bands. The video for 
the band Mothra "was all Pixelvision, and I don't 
think it works," he admits. He thinks Pixelvision is 
best used for close ups, where the graininess of the 
image is somewhat offset by its relative size. The 
Pixelvision camera may be one of O'Reilly's 
favorite visual tools, but no carpenter would try to 
cut a piece of metal with his favorite saw. 

A Philadelphia resident for almost all his life, 
O'Reilly has only to complete his thesis before 
earning an MFA in Film Production at Temple 
University. He hopes he'll be able to give the 
Philadelphia independent scene more visibility in 
media circles. The city's marginalization has both- 
ered him for years. "I would watch television as a 
kid and think 'Philadelphia's the fourth largest 
city, so how come there are no cop shows set 
here?'" he joked. The childlike way that O'Reilly 
initially discusses these kinds of issues is indicative 
of his work as a whole. The wide-eyed enthusiasm 
is still there, but it's honed and focused in a way 
that produces extremely resonant pieces of art. 

O'Reilly's works are available through Video 
Data Bank, 37 So. Wabash St., Chicago IL 60603. 

Jerry White is on program staff at the Philadelphia 

Festival of World Cinema and the Neighborhood 

Film/Video Project. 

16 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 995 



L 

p>huDtxz%^ct£>foeir 

By Paul Roth 



erwise find on TV. 

Loosely structured and with little narration, 
Media Man ambles its way through Mississippi, 
New Mexico, and New York, showing real people 
doing real things, enjoying themselves, making 
their own meaning out of life. We see children 
playing on carousels, a demolition derby, a tattoo 
contest, a dog roaming a snowy backyard, crime 
reporters investigating a murder, and many, many 
scenes of fishing. 

Lyon occasionally appears on-camera, talking 
to people or bantering with his wife, with whom he 

trades cam- 




era 

sou 

duties. 



and 
n d 
His 



TWO BOYS ROLL A PUMPKIN INTO POSITION IN A 
vegetable patch. In an offhand manner, a bearded 
man addresses the camera, saying he wants this to 
be a film "all about America. ..about the good 
Americans." With that, he and the boys smash the 
extremely ripe pumpkin. 

The man is photographer Danny Lyon, and the 
film is Media Man, his latest documentary. The 
boys are his sons; wife and collaborator Nancy 
Lyon operates the camera in this scene. The 
pumpkin. ..well, the pumpkin may mean nothing, 
or it may be a stand-in for the mainstream news 
media, the catalyst for this film. 

Lyon was driven to work on this long-term pro- 
ject, shot between 1989 and 1993, by his anger 
over the way information is distributed through 
mass media. 

"When I first saw 'news' on television, it was 
five minutes long," Lyon recalls. "Then it was 
extended to 1 5 minutes, which was a big deal; that 
was in the early fifties. Now the news is 
omnipresent and omnipotent. It is everywhere all 
the time in a true Orwellian nightmare, and 
almost by definition, nothing on it is truthful. 
Corporations battle it out; our only job is to keep 
shopping." The media, says Lyon, reinforce the 
social ills they report by leaving important stories 
untold and simplifying and distorting accounts to 
maintain the status quo. With Media Man Lyon 
begins to fill the gap, showing scenes we can't oth- 



presence in 
the film and 
his refusal to 
explain the 
activities we 
see are a 
deliberate 
effort to 
make a per- 
sonal docu- 
ment at odds 
with televi- 
sion news, 
with no pre- 
tense to "ob- 
jectivity." 

Lyon's filmmaking style developed completely 
apart from the burgeoning genre of "personal doc- 
umentary", with which he has had little contact. 
While Media Man is anchored in family images, 
Lyon uses no first-person narration. Perhaps owing 
to his photography background, he chooses 
instead to tell his stories solely in pictures. 

Lyon's influences are an eclectic lot. Robert 
Flaherty, Jean-Luc Godard, and Kenneth Anger 
first stirred his interest in filmmaking in the six- 
ties. As he began making films, Lyon assisted leg- 
endary photographer and underground filmmaker 
Robert Frank, handling sound duties for Liferaft 
Earth (1969) and About Me; A Musical (1971). 

In 1969, Lyon made his hilarious first film, 
Social Sciences 127, about a philosophical Houston 
tattoo artist. Later projects include £/ Mojado 
(1974) and E! Otro Lodo (1978), which document 
illegal aliens in New Mexico and Arizona, and 
Bom to Film (1983), a meditation on his son's 
childhood. 

"I was very affected by the writings of James 
Agee, which I read in the mid-sixties," he 
explains. "I thought of all cameras and tape 
recorders as powerful instruments of a new real- 
ism, where art could be made directly from life.... I 
thought, why bother with actors? You can just go 
out and shoot the real thing. That to me was 
always more interesting and powerful anyway." 



Lyon first started shooting "the real thing" with 
a still camera. After graduating from the 
University in Chicago in 1963, he followed his 
commitment to social justice to Mississippi, where 
he became staff photographer for the Student 
Non-Violent Coordinating Committee during the 
most trying and dangerous years of the civil rights 
movement. His now-legendary images were dis- 
tributed to the press and used in books and on 
posters to publicize the cause. 

Lyon's subsequent photo projects were each the 
result of his immersion, for years at a time, in sub- 
cultures mysterious to most Americans. Two years 
traveling with a motorcycle gang resulted in the 
book The Bikenders, and countless trips to Texas 
prisons culminated in the classic photographic 
essay Conversations with the Dead 

In filmmaking, as in his photography, Lyon's 
interest is in freedom — and the taking away of 
freedom. He has consistently turned his camera on 
people who live in opposition to mainstream soci- 
ety. Los Ninos Abandonados (1975) is an extraordi- 
nary journey through the interdependent, self- 
contained world of street orphans in Santa Marta, 
Columbia. 

Willie (1985) explores the troubled life of a 
young friend, Willie Jaramillo, who is imprisoned 
for a series of minor, anti-social crimes and cannot 
find a place inside society or rehabilitation out- 
side. Tragically, Willie died in jail in 1993 after his 
requests for medical attention went unheeded for 
10 days. Danny and Nancy Lyon purchased his 
tombstone. 

Lyon continues to work on photographic essays 
and books, which helps support his filmmaking. A 
recent traveling retrospective of his work demon- 
strates that his style has evolved beyond the social 
documentary work for which he is known. His 
new color photographic collages are among the 
most compelling work of his career. 

Lyon's films have received minimal distribution 
through the years. Musician/filmmaker Michael 
Stipe, comparing notes with Lyon, referred to his 
own distribution methods jokingly as "sort of like 
throwing it off the porch." Lyon counts his own 
efforts as slightly more sophisticated. His works 
are mostly screened in conjunction with exhibi- 
tions of his photographs or at educational institu- 
tions or museums with him present as a lecturer. 
"When I briefly taught courses in nonfiction film, 
I learned that the earliest films were shown this 
way, with the filmmakers traveling around and 
projecting them. That made me feel better," he 
says. 

His idealism unabated over the years, Lyon 
remains enthusiastic about his intuitive approach 
to filmmaking. "Media Man was made out of noth- 
ing, in a way," he remembers. "It is nice when you 
have an idea to see it realized through editing — as 
if some truths emerge from the film itself." 

Lyon's work is available from Bleak Beauty 



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T 

INIURKA PEREZ 

By Karen S h aw 



"I am a videoaste en formacion," is 
the way Cuban director Niurka 
Perez modestly describes herself. "I 
am a videoaste en formacion," is the 
way Cuban director Niurka Pere: 
modestly describes herself. 
Translated, the term implies a video artist who is 
being groomed, nurtured, given opportunities to 
bring a big talent into fruition. Although onl\ 32. 
Perez has compiled a substantial videography of 
nine works that have received 28 awards in Cuban 
competitions. The promise of her work is clear. 

Trained as an art historian, Perez came to 
media indirectly. "I never studied film. But, from 
my childhood, I loved images and their portrayals. 
I dreamed of finding a place where I could produce 
the expression of images. After university, I 
knocked on all the doors of the official institutions 
and joined Estudios Granma in 1988, as an assis- 
tant production designer." At Estudios Granma, 
an official news and documentary agency, Perez 
learned production techniques and directorial 
skills in her daily work with reporters, editors, and 
television producers. 

As a videomaker, Perez specializes in fine arts 
and history. Zaida, one of her most honored works, 
celebrates Zaida del Rio, a fine contemporary 
Cuban painter. "Zaida is a very talented artist. I 
wanted to capture her themes, the energy of her 
creativity, her palette, her fantasies — to visualize 
what it is to be an artist like her." The video does 
that: primary colors, golden light, abrupt shifts in 
editing, and long close-ups of del Rio's huge, com- 
plicated, frequently erotic paintings accompany 
glimpses of the artist and her athletic style of 
working. An earlier Perez work, Sobre la Tela del 
Viento, has won four awards, including one from 
Cuba's National Union of Artists and Writers. 
This documentary explores the links between the 
poetry of Cuban patriots Jose Marti and several 
Cuban artists inspired by his verse. 

Human relationships are also among Perez's 
major interests. Juan and Pepilla, a short documen- 
tary, grew from her contemplation of marriage. "I 
wanted to understand what a couple is, what the 

18 THE INDEPENDENT May 1995 



word meant, to universalize couple-ness," she says 
of this work. The video explores the decades-long 
marriage of Juan Marinello and his wife, Pepilla, 
two Cuban intellectuals whose mutual respect 
cemented their union. In Desvelo, an experimental 
film, the correspondance between then-exiled 
Marti and his mother illustrates the suffering such 
separation causes — a poignant reality for thou- 
sands of Cuban families. Currently Perez is editing 




a documentary on poet Dulce Maria Loynaz, a 
recent recipient of the Cervantes Prize for 
Literature. 

Estudios Granma produces historical and edu- 
cational works. For many of her projects, Perez 
presents an idea to the company's production 
committee. If approved, she develops a script, 
then directs the production. "I always dreamed of 
being a director," she says. "The institution pro- 
vides the funds and the equipment, so that's not a 
problem. And I don't think women directors have 
too much trouble in Cuba. Many axe successful 
directors in television, video, and film, but they 



have to have talent to begin with." 

Perez has encountered other barriers though. 
Her generation of video- and filmmakers, 
although partisans of the revolution, has not yet 
broken into the top ranks of the industries where 
many key positions are held by figures from the 
fifties and sixties. Perez and many of her peers, 
struggling for outlets and greater artistic expres- 
sion, joined the Asociacion Hermanos Saiz, 
formed in 1988. 
Artists in the associa- 
tion produce their 
own videoworks, inde- 
pendent of official 
institutions. New 

technologies, experi- 
mental techniques, 
and attention to cur- 
rent realities in Cuba 
identify' their produc- 
tions. 

"Estudios Granma's 
approach is to do 
patriotic, historical 
works in a conven- 
tional style," Perez 
acknowledges. "But 
new artists want a 
freer form — more cre- 
ative, aesthetic, poet- 
ic. We can criticize. 
We can equalize our 
work with older pro- 
ducers." These artists 
have been helped by 
the Cuban film insti- 
tute, ICAIC, which 
recognized the rele- 
vance of the produc- 
tions and the signifi- 
cance of freer ap- 
proaches to content 
and styles, important 
in the constant debate 
on the roles of art in 
Cuba's revolutionary 
society. 

This debate stimu- 
lates other Cuban organizations working with 
video and film. Perez, for example, is a leader in 
the National Video Movement, created in the 
eighties by 83 production teams in official institu- 
tions. The movement promotes video as an artis- 
tic form and encourages producers to creatively 
confront pertinent topics. Perez was selected Jury 
President of the movement's 1994 Video Festival. 
Should Cuba's economic crisis ease, film, now a 
costly medium, will be Perez' next challenge: "I 
want to learn how to use film, to use it in the most 
lyrical way, use colors as an impressionist painter 
would have." 

Karen Shaw is associate director of Videoteca del Sur. 



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February 15, 1995 



Dear folks back home, 



Robert Redford was a no-show today in Berlin. He 
was supposed to be here to promote the European 
premiere of Quiz Show, which apparently received 
its prime, midweek screening slot in exchange for 
Buena Vista's promise to deliver the Sundance 
Kid. Earlier in the week, Redford's distributor had 
set the stage for his arrival by plastering every 
vacant wall and pillar in the once-divided city 
with images of John Turturro and Ralph Fiennes. 
Yet, the star director claims he informed the folks 
at parent company Disney five weeks ago that he 
wouldn't be able to make it.... Maybe the fest 
could enlist Charles Van Doren as an arbitrator. 

Truthfully, I'm glad Redford stayed behind. The 
Quiz Show press conference was canceled, so I was 
able to catch Tom DiCillo's Living in Oblivion, 
which won the Screenwriting Award at Sundance. 
Despite the German subtitles, DiCillo's hilarious 
comedy about the making of a low-budget inde- 
pendent film was as much a crowd pleaser here as 
in Utah. The audience, a mix of Berlin locals and 
international critics, laughed at all the right 
moments and, once the film ended, stood and 
cheered like fans at a rock concert. 

It's taken me a while to plot a course of action 
for this year's festival, which began on February 9 
and runs through the 20th. With more than 400 
films showing at 16 venues around West and East 
Berlin and an additional 400 or so screenings tak- 
ing place at the European Film Market, 12 days 
hardly seems enough. 

Many of the U.S. -based filmmakers at a pre- 
Valentine's bash sponsored by American 
Independents and Features Abroad (AIFA, a pro- 
ject of the New York Foundation for the Arts) 
were dazed and confused by the fest's seemingly 
infinite choice of films. Doug Lindeman, producer 
of the very Californian lesbian love tale Bar Girls, 
was unclear about which films he could attend 
with his pass. Lindeman added that he was having 
a tough time deciphering the festival program, rife 
with information on the 27 films competing for 
the fest's top prize, the Golden Bear, as well as the 
many fests-within-the-fest: the Forum of Young 
Cinema, the Panorama, the Children's Film 



POSTCARDS TO AMERICA 




At the 45th Berlin International Film Festival, plot twists 
and high drama weren't onh found on thejcreen. 
For The Independent's ^/Lich&le 
there was plenty to write 



tiro, 




Festival, New German Cinema, and the 
Retrospective, this year featuring French star 
Alain Delon and numerous Buster Keaton films. 

The most intriguing section so far has been the 
Forum, which includes a mix of 92 international 
features and documentaries that defy categoriza- 
tion. Run by one of the festival's founders, Ulnch 
Gregor, this section has long been written off as a 
haven for rejects from the cutting-edge Panorama. 
While Gregor says Forum's role is "to stimulate 
perception, stimulate debate, and not just offer 
entertainment," it is serving up some lighter fare, 
such as DiCillo's Living in Oblivion and Chinese 
Canadian Mina Shum's Double Happiness, which 
has been billed as a heterosexual Wedding Banquet- 
But the section's cornerstone is still monumen- 
tal documentaries, such as Claude Lanzmann's 
five-hour Tsahal, on the Israeli army, and Marcel 
Ophuls' two-part The Troubles We've Seen, about 
media coverage of the Bosnian conflict. There are 
nine U.S. films featured in this year's Forum, 



including Deborah Hoffman's 
first-person account of her moth- 
er's decline from Alzhiemers, 
Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter. Hoffman just 
received news of her Academy Award nomination 
while here in Berlin ( — as much a shock for her as 
it was to me that Hoop Dreams was overlooked in 
the Best Doc category). Perhaps the greatest trea- 
sure Gregor's team managed to unearth among 
670 entries this year was one from Azerbaijan: 
Salayev Ayaz's The Bat, an eccentric tale of love 
and death. So far the films seeking the Golden 
Bear award in the main Competition (including 
five offerings from the States) pale by comparison. 
More later, Michele 

February 16 
Dear compadres, 

Forget Redford. Today's director du jour is Wayne 
Wang. After the back-to-back screenings of his 
two latest, Smoke (in Competition) and Blue in the 
Face (out-of-Competition), Wang did make an 
appearance at a press conference, as did the film's 



20 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 995 



actors Harvey Keitel and William Hurt and 
Wang's co-screenwriter Paul Auster. 

Smoke, about the manager of a Brooklyn cigar 
shop (Keitel) who befriends a down-on-his-luck 
novelist (Hurt) whose wife was recently killed in a 
hit-and-run accident, has a traditional narrative 
structure that serves to showcase the talents of its 
actors. Blue in the Face, meanwhile, grew out of 
improvised dialogues that occurred during the 
rehearsals for Smoke and therefore has a far more 
spontaneous feel. It's also a lot more fun. A semi- 




European premieres I've seen — first-time British 
director Michael Winterbottom's Butterfly Kiss 
and Canadian Patricia Rozema's When Night Is 
Falling — both fell short of my expectations. 
Butterfly Kiss, a Thelma and Louise-type road movie 
with Amanda Plummer as a mentally unstable 
transient in search of an old flame, proved 
unpalatable. (Plummer, a body-piercing advocate, 
douses herself with gasoline, wraps herself in 
chains, and murders for sport.) The plot, like 
Plummer's character, wanders aimlessly. When 



<Paul Ruvens' Paradise 
Framed, one of three AIDS - 
themed films to screen 
under the Red Hot 
Organization's banner in 
Berlin, was attacked by 
some audience members 
who felt it didn't deal direct- 
ly with the disease. 
Courtesy filmmaker 




> Locals who viewed 
Matthew Harrison's 
$11,000 feature Rhythm 
Thief in Berlin were 
intrigued by its gritty view 
of Manhattan and its 
hiphop 'track. 

Photo: Andreas Rentsch, 
courtesy filmmaker 



mental homage to the Dodgers' former home, Blue 
blends documentary footage of Brooklyn residents 
with dramatic vignettes in which Keitel's charac- 
ter offers friendly advice to a host of cameo-per- 
forming celebs, including those with one name 
(Roseanne, Madonna) and those with two (Jim 
Jarmusch, Lily Tomlin). The two films comple- 
ment each other like coffee and cigarettes (a 
Jarmusch favorite), yet Miramax, domestic distrib- 
utor for both, plans to release Smoke in June and 
Blue in the fall. 

Many of the 2,800 international journalists 
here seemed more taken with Blue in the Face than 
Smoke, although only the latter was in competi- 
tion. When asked why, Wang said he didn't want 
to compete against himself. Time will tell if he 
made the right decision. 

Will keep you posted, M. 

February 17 
Friends, Romans, and countrypeople, 

Lesbian films are all the rage this year, but the two 



Night Is Falling, about a professor who leaves her 
provincial fiancee for a woman, is simply a bore. 

The more interesting gay and lesbian works 
belong to the Panorama section, including 
Antonia Bird's Priest, Wally White's coming-of- 
age-in Provincetown adventure Lie Down with 
Dogs, and Marita Giovanni's Bar Girls. The 
Panorama has long prided itself on screening a mix 
of gay and lesbian films, work from Eastern Bloc 
countries, and gritty low-budget independents. 
This year it's screening 53 features and 28 shorts, 
nine of which hail from the States. "Our success is 
not just what's happening here now," Panorama 
director Wieland Speck has said, "but nine 
months later, when I check the programs of art 
houses in Europe to see if I find our titles there." 

This year, the section's tenth, is dedicated to 
Manfred Salzgeber, its founder and longtime direc- 
tor, who died last year of AIDS. In his honor, 
Speck selected a number of AIDS-themed films, 
including Canadian Cynthia Roberts' The Last 
Supper, about euthanasia; Marlon T Riggs' last 
work, Black Is... Black Ain't; and the French doc- 



umentary S/DA, Une Histoire qui n'a pas de fin 
(AIDS: The Story that Knows No End ). 

Not everyone who has seen the films, howev- 
er, offered praise. One of the festival's more dra- 
matic moments occurred after the screening of 
three hour-long, AIDS-related films produced by 
the Red Hot Organization: Idrissa Ouedraogo's 
Afrique, mon Afrique (France); Alfonso Ungria's 
Lazos (Spain); and Paul Ruvens' Paradise Framed 
(the Netherlands). At a QckA session, an angry 
individual took offense to Ruvens' futuristic 
vision of a multimedia artist who creates a her- 
metic Utopia. With his voice shaking, the audi- 
ence member identified himself as HIV-positive 
and attacked the Red Hot Organization for fund- 
ing a film that does not deal directly with AIDS. 
Marten Rabarts, the Amsterdam-based producer 
of the films, spent the remainder of the session 
defending Ruvens' script. He said the 
Netherlands has been AIDS-savvy for years, so 
the director didn't have to preach prevention, as 
Ouedraogo does in Afrique, mon Afrique, the first 
film dealing with the subject to be shown in 
Africa. Yet Ouedraego's view of the disease is 
oversimplified (A prostitute coughs in one scene 
and is carried out dead on a stretcher in the 
next), perhaps due to the limiting one-hour for- 
mat. 

Ruvens' vision is far more sophisticated 
because, in addition to being the only one of the 
three to include a homosexual relationship, he 
also challenges media and pop culture by infus- 
ing the film with provocative and unsettling 
images, which range from the hands of a woman 
being raped repeatedly in a Bosnian prison to an 
overweight black man belting out the 
DreamGirls tune, "There Ain't No Way I'm 
Livin' Without You." Says Speck of the project, 
"Paradise Framed has served its purpose simply 
because of the debate its screenings have incit- 
ed." 

Yours in celluloid, M. 

February 18 
To anyone who's listening, 

Has the Berlin festival lost its edge? Once known 
for its political bent, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 
1989 has left the festival searching for a new 
soul. With few productions coming out of former 
Eastern Bloc countries, festival director Moritz 
De Hadeln has turned to the U.S. and Asia for 
films to fill his Competition quota. But Robert 
Benton's Nobody's Fool and Richard Linklater's 
Before Sunrise can't exactly be billed as hard-hit- 
ting, controversial fare. Also, a freeze in the fes- 
tival budget for the last two years has caused the 
fest to go commercial, opening a store beside the 
market's Cine Center that sells t-shirts, posters, 
and fest catalogs. 

Two events earlier in the week, however, 



May 1 995 THE INDEPENDENT 21 



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offered a peek into the days of yore: A demonstra- 
tion protesting the Mexican military took place 
prior to a Competition screening of Jorge Fons' EI 
Caliejon de los Milagros at the lavish, newly reno- 
vated Zoo Palast theater. The same week, a series 
of bomb threats prior to the screening of several 
Israeli films in a Panorama sidebar also caused fest 
directors to hold their breath. To the relief of all, 
none of the threats were carried out. Still, the fes- 
tival took precautions by checking all bags prior to 
the press screening of Shmuel Hasfari's Sh'chur, 
the one Israeli film in Competition. 
Cheers, M. 



February 19 
Dear colleagues, 

This has been a very strong year for American 
independents. Quite a few U.S. -based indies — 
including Heather MacDonald (Ballot Measure 9), 
Ada Gay Griffin and Michelle Parkerson (A Liumy 
for Survival: The Life and Work of Andre horde), 
Matthew Harrison (Rhythm Thief), Tom DiCillo 
(Living in Oblivion), and Terry Zwigoff (Crumb) — 
were accepted both to Sundance and Berlin. For 
those who secured domestic distribution deals fol- 
lowing their films' U.S. premieres, Berlin provided 
an opportunity to explore foreign sales possibilities 



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1995 



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22 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 995 




Remember the 1950s, when college fraternities 
stuffed as many brothers as possible into a single 
phone booth? Well this year's European Film 
Market, which ran concurrently with the Berlin 
International Film Festival (February 9-20), like- 
wise packed dozens of sales companies into West 
Berlin's airtight Cine Center. With a record 76 
stands from 41 countries and more than 400 films 
screened 
throughout 
the 12-day 
period, the 
three-story 
building was 
filled to capac- 
ity. Yet by all 
accounts, the 
first-floor 
AIFA (Amer- 
ican Indepen- 
dents and 
Features 
Abroad) 
booth is where 
the action 
was. 

For the 
ninth year 
running, the 
AIFA booth 

served as a meeting point for filmmakers from the 
U.S., buyers, and distributors. Twenty-one films 
screened exclusively in the market's AIFA 
Showcase, and many of the makers whose works 
were selected to screen in one of the festival's sec- 
tions opted to shell out the $150-per-hour rate for 
additional screenings at the market. "I was told 
that a lot of buyers never leave this building when 
they're in town," said Heather MacDonald, whose 
film about the fight for gay rights in Oregon, Ballot 
Measure 9, also screened in the festival's Panorama 
section. Following the film's successful premiere at 
Sundance, MacDonald closed a distribution deal 
with Zeitgeist in Berlin. 

Even those who didn't strike up sales at the 
market had positive things to say about the expe- 
rience. "The makers that I've spoken with felt 
their time and money were well spent," said Lynda 
A. Hansen, AIFA's director, upon her return from 
Berlin. "They went into it to broaden their con- 
tacts and exposure, and came away having gotten 
their films started on the festival circuit." 

Paul Duran's Flesh Suitcase, a neo-noir story of 
two drug runners holed up in a bizarre L.A. board- 
ing house, was one of the more successful AIFA 
screenings. Ivan Victor, the film's producer and 
editor, said his team concentrated more on 



attracting festival directors and press to its two 
screenings than buyers because they're planning 
to close some foreign sales deals at Cannes. About 
AIFA he said: "It's great to be associated with the 
same organization that brought films such as Go 
Fish and Red Rock West to Berlin. The booth was 
great, too. We could meet other independents, 
leave messages, and dump press kits. AIFA gives 




the makers a lot of credibility." 

Nina Davenport decided on the spur of the 
moment to screen her first project, Hello Photo, a 
documentary shot in India, at the Berlin market. 
In late January, Davenport had attended the 
Rotterdam International Film Festival, where her 
film had its European premiere, and she decided 
to take advantage of her proximity to Berlin by 
hopping a train there. Although she was assigned 
an early week screening slot and didn't have much 
time for advance promotion, Davenport found the 
experience worthwhile. "I met people from sever- 
al festivals who were interested in Hello Photo," 
she said. 

Experimental maker Jennifer Montgomery, 
whose first feature, Art for Teachers of Children, is 
based on her adolescent affair with a married pho- 
tographer who was later investigated for child 
pornography, was also looking to drum up interest 
from foreign festivals. "Ironically," she said after 
returning to New York, "I had to go to Berlin to 
get a U.S. distribution deal." Like MacDonald, 
Montgomery signed with Zeitgeist, and the dis- 



tributor plans a May release for the film. Art for 
Teachers also grabbed the attention of fest directors 
from New Zealand, Australia, London, and 
Locarno, but Montgomery says she wasted over 
$1,000 on promotional materials that got lost in 
the flood of flyers and posters at the Cine Center. 
"I feel the people who were really interested in my 
film would have found it whether or not I handed 
them a press kit." 

Samuel Goldwyn acquired international rights 
to Arnold Schwartzman's WWII documentary 
Liberation, which screened in 
Panorama, and Deborah 
Hoffman's doc, Complaints of a 
Dutiful Daughter, sold to Den- 
mark 1, a European public 
broadcaster. In addition, reps 
from foreign territories including 
Germany, Australia, and New 
Zealand jumped at Marita 
Giovanni's comedy, Bar Gir/s, 
although the film's producers are 
talking to sales agents before 
closing any deals. 

For the first time this year, 
AIFA had competition from 
another U.S. sales entity, 
International Media Resources. 
Spearheaded by Sandy 
Mandleberger, IMR had previ- 
ously serviced independent pro- 
ducers at the Cannes and Mifed 
markets. Projects repped by IMR 
in Berlin included no-to-low 
budget indies such as Craig 
Schlattman's At Ground Zero 
and J.D. Kiggins' The Longest 
Day of the Century. Kiggins, who paid $1,500 to 
screen and promote his film through IMR, was also 
looking for festival invites. Although he'd spent his 
graduate school tuition money, approximately 
$150,000, to produce his first feature, Kiggins 
seemed uninterested in generating either domestic 
or foreign sales deals. 

Market director Beki Probst said this year dif- 
fered from others because "contrary to the last cou- 
ple of years, when market interest has concentrat- 
ed on a few titles, this year several films have 
attracted buyers." Yet Variety reported that several 
major buyers left Berlin without closing deals, 
which may in part attributable to the trend towards 
pre-festival sales. 

Foreign sales agent Jane Balfour says Berlin is 
one of the few markets that showcases documen- 
taries, which with shorts comprise 15 percent of 
works screened. "You can forget documentaries at 
Cannes," she said. "It's completely fiction-orient- 
ed." Marcie Bloom of Sony Picture Classics agrees. 
"I think it's easier to position a film here than at 
Cannes," she said. 

— Michek Shapiro 



May 1995 THE INDEPENDENT 23 




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and to secure funding for future projects. Harrison 
closed a deal with Britain's Film Four, while 
DiCillo, who already has a U.S. distributor (Sony 
Picture Classics), said the positive buzz Oblivion 
garnered in Berlin would help the 




film's foreign rep, 
Summit, generate more sales. 
At her fourth time in Berlin was veteran docu- 
mentarian Nina Rosenblum, who found a German 
backer for her work-in-progress, Slave Ship: The 
Testimony of the Henrietta Marie. She was invited to 
Berlin for a Panorama screening of Lock Up: The 
Prisoners ofRikers Island, for which she and Electric 
Films' Jon Alpert received unprecedented access 
to men's and women's cells — and even a facility for 
gay prisoners — at Rikers Island. But since HBO 
holds all rights to Lock Up, Rosenblum could do 
little in the way of foreign sales, which clearly frus- 
trated her. 

During a midweek press conference for 
American documentary makers, a question about 
the future of the NEA quickly brought discussion 
on funding to a head. "What Congress is doing is 
a direct attack against the cultural and political 
work that we do," said Ada Gay Griffin of Third 
World Newsreel, while Jill Godmilow, whose Roy 
Cohn/]ack Smith screened in the Forum, called the 
seriousness of the potential budget cuts "a call to 
arms." 

Rather than spending much of the week on 



— * 



\ 



iCT! 



shuttle buses to the press screenings at the oyster- 
shaped Kongresshalle, I'm watching films at a vari- 
ety of venues, ranging from the plush, art deco Film 
Palast to the Colosseum in East Berlin, which 
resembles a high school auditorium. While the 
international press has, for the most part, been 
unimpressed with this year's festival, Berlin's 
locals are as passionate as ever. Following a 
screening of Rhythm Thief, they couldn't ask 
director Matthew Harrison enough questions 
about how he managed to complete the film in 
1 1 days for $1 1,000, and if New York was really 
as dangerous as it appeared in the filmmaker's 
gritty, black-and-white rendition. Harrison, 
whose low-key manner encouraged questions, 
told the crowd he thinks the film will be bet- 
ter received overseas than in the States. 
Judging from the audience's enthusiasm, he 
may be right. 
Bear hugs, M. 



February 20 



Dear unrelated others: 



X 



Talk about a surprise ending. This year's 
Golden Bear went to French director 
Bertrand Tavernier's LAppat, a low-buzz 
film about teens who murder for money, 
which didn't even have its first screening 
until yesterday. While the American con- 
tingent was rooting for Smoke, the 
Europeans were equally dismayed that 
Richard Linklater won a Silver Bear for 
Best Director. (The European premiere 
of Before Sunrise received only a luke- 
warm response here.) Among the 
Americans, Wang received a Special 
Jury Prize for Smoke and Paul Newman was award- 
ed Best Actor for Nobody's Fool. Mitch Marcus' A 
Boy Called Hate, about a twisted sexual relation- 
ship, snagged the C.I.C.A.E. Prize for Panorama 
from the International Confederation of Art 
Cinemas, and Steve McLean's Postcards from 
America won for the Forum. Hoffman's Complamts 
of a Dutiful Daughter shared the Caligari Film Prize 
with the Cuban film, Madagascar. But Heather 
MacDonald's honor, the Siegessaulle Award from 
the gay press, was far sweeter: she received a marzi- 
pan cake in the shape of the Kongresshalle. 

This card will reach you long after my return to 
New York; I'm now on my 11 -hour flight home. 
Two seats away, filmmaker Tom DiCillo is in obliv- 
ion, staring blankly at the world map projected on 
the screen before him. Images of the past week 
must fill his head as they do in mine. Perhaps he 
will capture them on film, as he did so brilliantly 
with Living in Oblivion. Filmmakers like him, able to 
transcend cultural barriers with their films, were 
the real stars of this year's Berlinale. 

Until next year, auf wiedersehen, Berlin! M. 

Michele Sliapiro is managing editor of The Independent. 



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